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Mantra Pushpam -- Part 4

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Oct 20 1996 - 18:03:03 PDT

***NAVARATHRI SEASON: SARASWATHI PUJAA DINAM

***MANTRA PUSHPAM RKS & THEIR MEANINGS

*** PANCHASAT 78

yOapAm pushpam veda I pushpavAn prajAvAn 
bavathi I chandramA vaa apAm pushpam I 
pushpavAn prajAvAn pasumAn bavathi I
ya yevam veda I yOpAmAyathanam veda I
aayathanavAn bavathi I agnirvaa apaamaayathanam I
aayathanavAn bavathi I yOagnerAyathanam veda II 

Here the two way relationship between the Moon and 
Waters (Aapa: ) is explored .  The mantram states :
" One who understands the nature of the flower of 
the waters becomes blessed with flowers , good 
progeny , abundunant cows and  cattle . Moon is 
indeed the flower of waters (Chandramaa vaa
apAm pushpam) . "

Here the reference is to the birth of the Moon , when the 
"waters" of the milky ocean were churned by BhagavAn.
The moon rose like a lotus flower from those waters. 
Hence the Moon's originating place, abode , base is 
the waters . Therefore Aapa: is the Aayathanam (the abode)
for the Moon. Water has another relationship to the Moon.
It arises from the cool rays of the Moon. Hence , the Moon 
serves as the Aayathanam for the waters. The Rk therefore 
declares " ChandramA vaa ApaamAyathanamI aapO vai
Chandramasa Aayathanam ". Thus Water is the Aadharam and 
Aadheyam for the Moon. 

The relationship betwen the Moon , Heavens, firmament and waters
and their directing force PraNava svarupi , the Supreme Purusha of 
Purusha Suktham has been alluded to in the earlier section. Many
other Vedic passages dwell on this important relationship. For example,
Yajur Veda manthram ( XXIII--59& 60 ) asks a question on this subject
The question is : 

"Who knoweth the paramount Lord of this World ?
Who knoweth the heven , the earth and the wide 
space between them ? Who knoweth the creator of the mighty Sun ? 
Who knoweth the Moon , and whence she was generated ? 

The answer in the next mantram is :

VEDHAHAMASYA BHUVANASYA NAABHIM VEDA 
DHYAAVAA PRUTHVEE ANTHARIKSHAM 
VEDA SURYASYA BRUHATHO JANITHRAMATHO
VEDA CHANDRAMASAM YATOJAA: 

" O Questioner ! I know the paramount Lord of this 
World. I know the Heaven, the earth and the wide space between
them . I know the efficient and physical cause of the mighty
Sun . I know the Moon and her creator ." 

In another mantram (Yajur Vedam VII-- 16 ) , the relationship 
between the Moon and the waters, the subject of the first 
panchasat of Mantra Pushpam is hinted . Veda Purusha 
declares " -- I fix in its orbit , in the midst of spacious regions , 
this beautiful Moon  that covers the luninous stars , and is linked 
with the Sun  and the Waters that it attracts .---". 

Two Saamans from Sama Veda pay homage to 
the interdependence between the Purusha and the 
created entities such as Water, Air, Agni , Sun , Earth,
Heaven and firmament .The firsyt is from Aranya KhAnda
( Decade V-3 ) . This is the  famous mantram :

CHITRAM DEVAANAAMUDHAGAADHANEEKAM
CHAKSHURMITRASYA VRUNASYAAGNEH I
AAPRAA DHYAAVAA PRUTHVEE ANTHARIKSHAGUM
SURYA AATMAA JAGATHASTASTHUSHASCCHA  II

" God is wonderful and powerful amongst all the forces
of nature and learned persons . He is the manifestor of air,
water and fire. He pervades the Sun , Earth and atmosphere. 
He is the creator and sustainer of all that moveth and 
moveth not ." The realtion between Aapa: , Agni , Vaayu ,
Sun, Moon , Stars and Time and Purusha , the subject matter of the 
mantrams of Mantra Pushpam , is covered here.

Yet another (Uttaraarchika) Saman talks specifically 
about the relationship between Aapa: and the blessings
arising from the true understanding of the Sarva Devatha 
Svarupam of the waters . That Saman is the 1839th Saman:

TASMAA ARAM GAMAAMA VOH YASYA KSHAYAAYA
JINVATHA I AAPOH JANAYATHAA CHA NA : II

" O Waters , for the removal of which impurity ye impel us ,
for the removal of the same we speedily go unto ye . Give
us children , who mkae the right use of water." The suggestion
is that those , who use the water correctly and understand its
significance would become " PushpavAn, PrajAvAn and 
PasumAn ."   

One verse from Atharva Veda ( Anuvaka 5- hymn XX!-2 )
refers to the relation between the Agni and water and states : 
" All fires that are in Water ( Vadavaanalam in the Ocean, lightning
in Clouds, digestive fire found in humans, ripening fire found in
herbsand plants ) -- may all these fires be put to proper use ".

The realtion between Agni and Water is the topic of the 
firsy mantram of Mantra Pushpam ( Agnirvaa apaam
aayathanam I aayathanavaan bavathi I yOagneraayathanam
veda I ) ,  In the order of creation, Upanishad states "Agneraapa: ". 
Agni thus the receptacle of Jalam . From Jalam , the fire under
the ocean (Vadavaagni ) is produced. Hence as in the case of 
Chandran , Agni also has a dual relation (Aadharam and Aadheyam ). 

In a similar vein , Vayu, Surya, Stars , Rain and Time have the dual 
relationship to Aapa: . " Kaalaa Apsu Nivasanteh I 
Aapaa Suryeh Samaahitaa: I   

The all encompassing nature of Aapa: in the spirit
of Maha Narayana Upanishad Vakhyam ( AapOvaa
Idagum Sarvam , Sarva Bhoothaanyaapa: -- Bhur bhuva 
suvaraapa OM ) , the 84th panchasat  visualizes the entire
Universe as a gigantic ship floating on the immensity 
of Water . An Upaasaka , who understands the world as
a ship moving steadily in the gigantic waters is recognized by the 
84th panchasat as a Sthitha Prajnan . He understands the 
cosmic relationship between the Water as a sarva Devathaa svarupi 
entering into Purusha .

V.Sadagopan