Bhakti Sandarbha 287-294 : Eligibility for Honor

The next seven anucchedas continue the discussion of pātratā begun in the previous (286.4). This discussion is based on eleven verses, SB 7.14.34-41, 15.1-2 in response to the question of who is the proper recipient of honors at the Rajasuya sacrifice.

Anuccheda 287

Worship of Kṛṣṇa is Worship of All

(भा. ७.१४.३६)
जीवराशिभिराकीर्ण अण्डकोशाङ्घ्रिपो महान्।
तन्मूलत्वादच्युतेज्या सर्वजीवात्मतर्पणम्॥
Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa is the root of the vast tree of this cosmos, which is pervaded by the living beings. Thus by worshiping Him, all beings become satisfied. (SB 7.14.36)
सर्वेषां जीवानामात्मनश्च तर्पणरूपा सैव भवतीत्यर्थः॥

Nārada’s statement to the King implies that the worship of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa is itself an offering to all living beings and to oneself also.

Anuccheda 288

Paramātmā is the Source of Life

(भा. ७.१४.३७)
पुराण्यनेन सृष्टानि नृतिर्यगृषिदेवताः।
शेते जीवेन रूपेण पुरेषु पुरुषो ह्यसौ॥
Having created innumerable residences in the form of the bodies of human beings, birds, animals, sages and gods, He rests in them as the Self of living beings. Therefore, He is known as the puruṣa, the animating principle of all living beings. (SB 7.14.37)
जीवेन जीवयित्वा जीवान्तर्यामिरूपेणेत्यर्थः॥

In this verse, the word jīvena refers to the Paramātmā feature of Bhagavān, who is immanent within all living beings as their life-giving source.

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

The word jīva usually means an individual living being. jīvati iti jīvaḥ, one who lives or has life symptoms is called a jīva. But this word also mean the Immanent Being in everything. Deriving the word from the causative form of the root jīv, jīvayati iti jīvaḥ, one who infuses life in everything, including the individual living beings can also be called jīva. In Taittirīya Upaniṣad (2.6) it is stated that God created the world and then entered into it to bring it to life. This is described in more detail in the Third Canto, 26.63-72.

Anuccheda 289

Eligibility for Worship is Awareness of Bhagavān

(भा. ७.१४.३८)
तेष्वेव भगवान् राजंस्तारतम्येन वर्तते।
तस्मात् पात्रं हि पुरुषो यावान् आत्मा यथेयते॥
O King, Bhagavān manifests in all these bodies to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, man is the suitable candidate for honor, in the way and to the extent that the Self (ātmā) manifests in him. (SB 7.14.38)
तस्मात् तारतम्यवर्तनात्पुरुषः प्रायो मनुष्यः पात्रम्तत्र ज्ञानादिकं विशिष्टमिति भगवद्वर्तनस्यातिशयात्तत्रापि आत्मा यावान् यथा ज्ञानादिपरिमाणादिकः, तथासौ पात्रमित्यर्थः

"Therefore" means "by virtue of the gradation in consciousness"; "man" (puruṣa) means "human being." Among human beings, the more spiritual knowledge or wisdom one has, the more one is eligible, because Bhagavān is manifest in such a person to a greater extent. Even among jñānīs, eligibility is measured by the manner and extent to which they are knowledgeable.

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

In the verse cited here Śrī Nārada gives the criterion for eligibility to receive honors and charity: it is the awareness of Bhagavān. This means two things. First the eligibility is primarily in human beings because sub-humans do not have any awareness of Bhagavān except in some rare cases. Secondly, among human beings also, the level of eligibility depends upon the extent of their awareness of Bhagavān. The word ātmā in this verse can mean either Paramātmā or awareness of Him. The word puruṣa used for a person or human being also implies the presence of the Paramātmā, that in whom Immanent Being rests is Puruṣa, antaryāmi-rūpeṇa purau śarīre śete iti puruṣāḥ.

Anuccheda 290

The Deity is a Superior Pātra to Human Beings

एवं स्थितेऽपि कालेनोपासकदोषोत्पत्तौ सत्यां भेददृष्ट्या विशिष्टमधिष्ठानान्तरं प्रकाशितमित्याह (भा. ७.१४.३८)—

Although human beings are worthy of honor by virtue of Bhagavān’s manifesting in them, worshipers became prone to the defect [of disrespect] over the course of time. Consequently, Śrī Nārada speaks of a special object of worship according to the view of the Vedas:

दृष्ट्वा तेषां मिथो नृणामवज्ञानात्मतां नृप।
त्रेतादिषु हरेरर्चा क्रियायै कविभिः कृता॥
O King, in tretā-yuga when the wise observed that human beings developed the tendency to disrespect each other, they created the deity form of Bhagavān Hari in order to conduct worship rituals. (SB 7.14.39)
मिथोऽवज्ञानमसम्मानंस्तस्मिन्नात्मा बुद्धिर्येषां भावं दृष्ट्वा क्रियायै पूजाद्यर्थमर्चा कृता तत्परिचर्यामार्गदर्शनाय सा प्रकाशितेत्यर्थः। एतेन तादृशदोषयुक्तेष्वपि कार्यसाधकत्वात् श्रीमदर्चाया आधिक्यमेव व्यञ्जितम्।

After observing that the intelligence of human beings had degenerated into contempt or mutual disrespect, the sages created the deity form of Bhagavān in order to conduct worship rituals (kriyā). This means that they revealed the deity in order to demonstrate the path of service to the deity. This implies that the deity is superior to human beings as an object of worship, because worship of the deity can bring perfection even to those who carry such a defect.

"प्रतिमा स्वल्पबुद्धीनाम्" इत्यत्र च अल्पबुद्धीनामपीत्यर्थः। नृसिंहपुरानादौ ब्रह्माम्बरीषादीनामपि तत्पूजाश्रवणात्॥

And the statement: “The deity is for the less intelligent,” (Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa 62.5) means “even for the less intelligent,” because in scriptures such as the Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa, it is said that even personalities such as Brahmā and Ambarīṣa worshiped the deity.

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Śrī Nārada gives a historical reason behind the propagation of deity worship. In Satya-yuga people were very content and non-envious. They were respectful to each as a result of being situated in sattva. Śrī Śuka says that when the mind, intellect and senses are situated in sattva that is called Kṛta-yuga. During that age, people are naturally inclined to knowledge and renunciation (12.3.27).

Śrī Kṛṣṇa gives the reason why Satya-yuga is called Kṛta: “In the first yuga called Kṛta, the people's varṇa was known as haṁsa ("swan"). The people were born perfect (kṛta-kṛtya), therefore the yuga was known as kṛta” (11.37.10). The word kṛta signifies that people were naturally God-oriented and thus respectful to each other, seeing the presence of God in everyone.

As time passed, people became more degraded and materialistic. Thus they disrespected each other. They lost the vision of God in everyone. To restore this vision of feeling the presence of God in everybody, and thus to not disrespect them, the sages propagated deity worship. Even one who has little faith can feel the presence of God in the Deity. As he continues to serve the Deity, his mind gets free of materialistic vision and he can visualize the presence of God in living beings. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi cites this verse to show that the Deity is a superior pātra than a human being because the deity worship can purify the heart even of a person having the vice of disrespecting others.

A doubt may be raised here. It is said that deity worship is for less intelligent people. This view is common among the followers of jñāna and yoga paths. They argue that less intelligent people cannot meditate on Brahman therefore they need some gross object or ālambana to fix their mind. By practice they become purified and then they can give up the deity worship, which is like a prop or ladder that helps one to climb up. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī refutes this misconception and says that great personalities like King Ambarīṣa also worshiped Bhagavān's deity form (karau harer mandir-mārjanādiṣu, 9.4.18ff).

Anuccheda 291

Deity Worship Does Not Purify One Who Hates Others

(भा. ७.१४.४०)
ततोऽर्चायां हरिं केचित् संश्रद्धाय सपर्यया।
उपासत उपास्तापि नार्थदा पुरुषद्विषाम्॥
Thereafter some people worshiped Bhagavān Hari in the form of the deity, with great faith and suitable paraphernalia. But even the worship of the deity cannot bear fruit for those who are inimical towards other human beings. (SB 7.14.40)
तत एवंप्रभावात्। केचिदित्यधिष्ठानवैशिष्ट्येन पूर्वतोऽप्युत्तमसाधनतत्परा इत्यर्थः।

“Thereafter” (tataḥ) implies that from that point on, the deity was worshiped because of its tremendous power [having been established by the sages]. "Some people" (kecit) indicates that these are engaged in a process superior to those mentioned earlier, and this is due to the special qualities of the object of their worship [namely that it is directed towards the deity, a uniquely powerful seat of manifestation of Bhagavān].

नन्ववज्ञावद्द्वेषेऽपि सिद्धिः स्यात् ? इत्याशङ्क्यातिप्रसङ्गवारणेच्छया प्रस्तुतपुरुषरूपाधिष्ठानादररक्षेच्छया च तं वारयति—उपास्तापि इति॥

[In the previous verse (7.14.39), it was mentioned that the sages established worship of the deity, having observed the disrespect in human beings. From this, one may assume that deity worship should be effective even for those who bear malice towards other human beings.]

A doubt may be raised: Would one be able to attain success in this practice if one hates others, as it is with disrespecting them? Anticipating this argument, Śrī Nārada dismisses any such possibility by stating that worship of the deity cannot bear fruit for those who are inimical towards other living beings. By this statement, Nārada removes the possibility of the defect of over-applying the meaning (atiprasaṅga) of the verse (7.14.39), and also preserves the importance of respect for human beings, who are also Bhagavān's abodes or seats.

[Atiprasaṅga is another word for the defect called ativyāpti, the over-application of a rule or definition.]

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Śrī Nārada makes it clear that hatred is worse than disrespect. A person full of hatred for other beings is not purified by deity worship. The reason for this is that God is present in everybody and not only in the deity form. One who hates others also hates the God who is present in them. This is an unforgivable offense. Disrespecting others is also disrespect to God, but because the sages specifically propagated deity worship to remove that defect the Deity tolerates the disrespect and purifies the worshiper.

A doubt may be raised here. Bhagavān Kapila says: “I am ever situated in all beings as their very self. A mortal being who worships My deity form while disrespecting Me in other beings is a hypocrite” (3.29.21) and further, “I am not pleased with a person who worships Me with various types of articles and devotional activities, in My deity form while disrespecting the living beings” (3.29.24).

In these verses Kapila Deva says that one who disregards other living beings but worships a deity is not pleasing to Him. Above, however, it was said that one who disrespects can be purified, but not one who has hatred. The answer is that the disrespect referred to by Kapila is inclusive of hatred. This is understood from His statement where He uses the words dviṣataḥ para-kāye māṁ (3.29.23), "one who hates Me in the body of others." Or, the meaning of verses 3.29.21 and 24 is not that such a worshiper does not get any benefit, but rather that he gets it belatedly. Śrī Kapila Himself confirms this interpretation Himself:

One should worship Me, the Regulator, in the deity form while executing his prescribed duties, until one realizes My presence in one’s own heart and those of others. (3.29.25)

This is explained by Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī while commenting on verse 3.29.21. (See Anuccheda 106.)

Anuccheda 292

A Brāhmaṇa is the Best Pātra Among Human Beings

अथ पुरुषेषु पूर्वोक्तविशेषं जात्यादिना विवृणोति (भा. ७.१४.४१)—

Nārada then explains the specialty that makes one a unique receptacle of Bhagavān among human beings, based on ethnicity (jāti) and other criteria:

पुरुषेष्वपि राजेन्द्र सुपात्रं ब्राह्मणं विदुः।
तपसा विद्यया तुष्ट्या धत्ते वेदं हरेस्तनुम्॥
O King, even among human beings the brāhmaṇa is a superior receptacle of Bhagavān, because through penance, knowledge and self-satisfaction, he upholds the Veda, which is identical to the body of Bhagavān Hari. (SB 7.14.41)
यो धत्ते तं सुपात्रं विदुः॥

That which holds is a suitable vessel. [The verse specifically mentions that the brāhmaṇa holds the Vedas, the body of Bhagavān, and this is what makes him eligible to receive honor (pātra).]

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Earlier (Anuccheda 289) it was said that among all types of living beings humans are the best pātra. In this verse Śrī Nārada says that among human beings also a brāhmaṇa is the supreme. The reason for this is that he holds the Veda in his body. The Veda is compared to the body of Kṛṣṇa, hares tanum, as Bhagavān Saṅkarṣaṇa says, “Śabda Brahman (Veda) and Para Brahman are my eternal bodies” (6.16.51). The prime duty of a brāhmaṇa is to study the Veda (Manu-smṛti 1.88, 4.20). Kṛṣṇa says that the body of a brāhmaṇa is not meant for fulfilling petty desires but to engage in austerity (11.17.42). Such a brāhmaṇa is worthy of respect by other human beings.

At present there is lot of criticism and animosity towards brāhmaṇas and also against the scriptural injunction to respect a brāhmaṇa. This is based on misunderstanding of the scripture. Every scripture that ordains one to respect a brāhmaṇa also delineates the duties of a brāhmaṇa. Those who do not follow these duties are called brahma-bandhus. By seeing the lowly behavior of a brahma-bandhu one should not criticize the scriptures because the scriptures do indeed make such a distinction between the two. When Aśvatthāmā, a brāhmaṇa by birth, killed the five sleeping sons of Draupadī, Arjuna went in search of him. Arjuna was able to find him and capture him. At that time Kṛṣṇa ordered Arjuna to kill Aśvatthāmā, referring to him as a brahma-bandhu, brahma-bandhum imaṁ jahi (1.7.35).

Anuccheda 293

Even Bhagavān Honors a Brāhmaṇa

पूर्वोक्तं ब्राह्मणरूपं पात्रमेव स्तौति (भा. ७.१४.४२)—

In the next verse, Śrī Nārada praises the previously mentioned receptacle of Bhagavān, the brāhmaṇa:

नन्वस्य ब्राह्मणा राजन् कृष्णस्य जगदात्मनः।
पुनन्तः पादरजसा त्रिलोकीं दैवतं महत्॥ इत्यादिना।
O King, the brāhmaṇas are greatly worshipable even for Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, the Soul of the universe, because the dust of their feet purifies the three worlds. (SB 7.14.42)
जगदात्मनो जगति लोकसङ्ग्रहधर्मादिप्रवर्तनेन तन्नियन्तुरित्यर्थः। दैवतं पूज्यत्वेन दर्शितम्॥

“The Soul of the universe” (jagad-ātmanaḥ) describes Kṛṣṇa as the “One who regulates the world by disseminating religion for the benefit of the people.” The word "greatly worshipable" (daivatam), qualifying the brāhmaṇas, signifies that they are worthy of honor [even for Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa].

॥७.१४॥ श्रीनारदो युधिष्ठिरम्॥२८६-२९३॥

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa respects brāhmaṇas because they dedicate their life only for the welfare of the society. They do not engage in earning wealth or amassing power for their enjoyment. They are the pillars of dharma in the society and thus assist Krṣṇa who comes to establish dharma on earth. Brahmā says that Krṣṇa is a worshiper of brāhmaṇas (PP Uttara-khaṇḍa 229.9) Bhagavān Himself declares that He will chop off His own arm if it acts against a brāhmaṇa, chindyāṁ sva-bāhum api pratikūla-vṛttim (SB 3.16.6).

Anuccheda 294

The Deity is the Supreme Object of Worship

अथ तदनन्तराध्यायस्यादावेव तेषु सर्वोत्कृष्टमाह द्वाभ्याम् (भा. ७.१५.१-२) —

Then in the very beginning of the next chapter, Śrī Nārada speaks two verses describing the best among these brāhmaṇas:

कर्मनिष्ठा द्विजाः केचित् तपोनिष्ठा नृपापरे।
स्वाध्यायेऽन्ये प्रवचने केचन ज्ञानयोगयोः॥
ज्ञाननिष्ठाय देयानि कव्यान्यानन्त्यमिच्छता।
दैवे च तदभावे स्यादितरेभ्यो यथार्हतः॥
O King, some brāhmaṇas are devoted to karma, some are given to austerity, some study and teach the Vedas, while others are engaged in the processes of jñāna and yoga. A person desiring to achieve infinity should offer oblations to a brāhmaṇa established in wisdom. In the absence of such a person, one should offer oblations to others in accordance with their degree of eligibility. (SB 7.15.1-2)
अनेन यथात्र मुमुक्षुप्रभृतीनां ज्ञानिपूजैव मुख्या, पुरुषान्तरपूजा तु तदभाव एव, तथा प्रेमभक्तिकामानां प्रेमभक्तपूजा ज्ञेया। ततः प्रेमभक्तानामपि यच्चित्तस्य परमाश्रयरूपं, तदभिव्यक्तेः सुतरामेवार्चाया आधिक्यमपि।

From this it is to be understood that for those who desire liberation, the worship of a brāhmaṇa who is a jñānī is best, and the worship of others is done only in the absence of such. Similarly, for those desiring devotion in love, the worship of a devotee established in love is foremost. Furthermore, Bhagavān is also the supreme shelter of the heart for devotees saturated with love. Consequently, for such devotees worship of the deity exceeds even that of the devotee, because the deity is the form in which Bhagavān manifests.

एवं तदाश्रयरूपस्य विलक्षणप्रकाशस्थानत्वादेव श्रीविष्णोर्व्यापकत्वेऽपि शालग्रामादिषु निर्धारणम्। तच्च पुरुषवन् नान्तर्यामिदृष्ट्यपेक्षम्, किन्तु स्वभावनिर्देशपरमेव, तन्निवासक्षेत्रादीनां महातीर्थत्वापादनादिना कीकटादीनामपि कृतार्थत्वकथनात्।

So although Bhagavān Viṣṇu is all-pervading, it is understood that He appears in Śālagrāma and other such forms, because they are the places in which Bhagavān, who is the shelter of the devotees, specifically manifests.

Previously it was said that human beings are worthy of honor or worship because Bhagavān is manifest within them in His immanent feature as Paramātmā. Śālagrāma, however, is not to be regarded in this way, because Bhagavān Viṣṇu is directly present in Śālagrāma by His very nature. This is understood from the fact that Śālagrāma transforms the area in which it resides into a great holy place. As such, we find descriptions that even worms residing in the vicinity of Śālagrāma attain perfection.

तथा च स्कान्दे—
शालग्रामशिला यत्र तत् तीर्थं योजनत्रयम्।
तत्र दानं जपो होमः सर्वं कोटिगुणं भवेत्॥

In the Skanda Purāṇa it is said:

Wherever the sacred Śālagrāma stone is present, it creates a holy place in its vicinity, extending for twenty-four miles. Charity, uttering mantras and sacrifices performed in this area yield millions of times more benefit.

शालग्रामसमीपे तु क्रोशमात्रं समन्ततः।
कीकटेऽपि मृतो याति वैकुण्ठभुवनं नरः॥ इति।

तस्मादर्चाया आधिक्यमेव हि स्थितम्॥

And in the Padma Purāṇa:

Even a human being born in Kīkaṭa who dies within a two mile radius of Śālagrāma goes to Vaikuṇṭha.

Therefore, worship of the Deity is superior to worship of human beings. These verses were spoken by Śrī Nārada to King Yudhiṣṭhira.

॥७.१५॥ श्रीनारदो युधिष्ठिरम्॥२९४॥

Commentary by Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji Maharaj

Śrī Nārada concludes his discourse on eligibility by reciting the two verses cited here. He says that a jñānī brāhmaṇa is the best among human beings. The context in which he spoke this is the duties of people according to social status, varṇāśrama. The basic principle of varṇāśrama-dharma is that one should follow one’s duties, karma, prescribed in the Vedas. The ultimate result of karma is jñāna (GĪTĀ 4.33). From this Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī extrapolates that for a devotee desiring loving devotion, prema-bhakti, the worship of a devotee in love, i.e., a prema-bhakta, is supreme. Then he extrapolates it further that the prema-bhakta’s worshipable is the deity, therefore, deity is the supreme object of worship.

Earlier (Anuccheda 286) Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī said that Śālagrāma is an adhiṣṭhāna, a seat for Bhagavān. Viṣṇu is omnipresent but He is specifically situated in Śālagrāma, as is said in Skanda Purāṇa (6.253.37, 255.16), “Viṣṇu who has entered in a Śālagrāma.” Therefore the presence of a Śālagrāma turns its vicinity into a holy place.

In this way Śrī Jīva concludes the topic of eligibility for honor and respect begun in Anuccheda 286. In the next Anuccheda, by prasaṅga-saṅgati, contextual connectivity, he continues to describe further seats of worship.

DISCLAIMER: All the posts related to Bhakti Sandarbha are not the final product. This version will be refined by other readers and editors, including Babaji himself. Please do not use this material without reference to this disclaimer. This material is copyrighted by the Jiva Institute.

Bhakti Sandarbha 286 : Other Important Aspects of Arcana
Bhakti Sandarbha 285 : The Gods Named in Āvaraṇa-pūjā are Bhagavān's Associates
Bhakti Sandarbha 284 : The Difference Between Mantra and Name
Bhakti Sandarbha 283 : Pāda-sevā (Concluded) and Arcanam
Bhakti Sandarbha 280-282 : Service to Bhagavān (Pāda-sevanam)
Bhakti Sandarbha 275-279 : Smaranam
Bhakti Sandarbha 273-274 : Conclusion of Kirtan Section
Bhakti Sandarbha 270-272 : Kīrtana in the Kaliyuga
Bhakti Sandarbha 266-269 : Rupa, Guna and Lila Kirtan, Glories of Kirtan
Bhakti Sandarbha 265 : Offenses to the Holy Name


1 of 3 said…

The Parable of the stony sheath of the soul

Chapter XLVI, Book VI, Nirvana Prakarana, Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha of Vālmīki.

Rama said:—

1. Venerable sir, that knowest the substance of all truths; I understand the parable of bel fruit (wood apple) which you have just related to me to bear relation to the essence of the compact intellect, which is the only unit and identic with itself.

2. The whole plenitude of existence together with the personalities of I, thou, this and that form the plenum (or substance), of the intellect; and there is not the least difference between them, as this is one thing and that another. (All this is but one undivided whole, whose body nature is and God the soul. Pope).

Vasishtha answered said:—

3. As this mundane egg or universe is likened to a gourd fruit, containing the mountains and all other things as its inner substance; so doth the intellect resemble the bel fruit or the grand substratum, that contains even the universe as the kernel inside it.

4. But though the world has no other receptacle beside the Divine intellect, yet it is not literally the kernel inside that crust (i.e. the substance of that substratum in its literal sense). Because the world has its decay, decline and dissolution also in time, but none of these belong to the nature of the everlasting mind of God).

5. The intellect resembles the hard coating of the pepper seed, containing the soft substance of its pith inside it, and is likened also to block of stone, bearing the sculptured figures peacefully sleeping in it. (All things are engraven in the divine mind).

6. Here me relate to you, O moon faced Rama! another pleasant story in this place which will appear equally charming as well as wondrous to you. (It is the story of stone like Brahma).

7. There is a huge block of stone somewhere, which is as big as it is thick and solid; it is bright and glossy, and cold and smooth to touch; it never wastes or wears out, nor becomes dark and dim.

8. There are many full blown lotuses, and unnumbered buds of water lilies, growing amidst the limpid lake of water, contained within the bosom of this wondrous stone. (It means that the mind of God has all these images of things engraved in it as in a stone).

9. There are many other plants growing also in that lake, some with their long and broad caves and others with their alternate and joint foliums likewise.

10. There are many flowers with their up lifted and down cast heads, and others with their petals hanging before them; some having a combined or common footstalk, and others growing separate and apart from one another; some are concealed and others manifest to view.

11. Some have their roots formed of the fibres of the pericarp, and some have their pericarps growing upon the roots (as orchids), some have their roots on the tops and others at the foot of trees, while there are many without their roots at all: (as the parasite plants).
2 of 3 said…

12. There are a great many conch shells about these, and unnumbered diseases also strewn all about.

Rama said:—

13. All this is true, and I have seen this large stone of salgrama in my travels; and I remember it to be placed in the shrine of Vishnu, amidst a bed of lotus flowers. (The salgrama stone is perforated by the vajra-kita, and contains many marks inside it, resembled to the map of the world in the mundane egg of the divine mind. See vajra-kita in the works of Sir William Jones).

Vasishtha replied:—

14. You say truly, that you have seen that great stone and know its inside also; but do you know the unperforated and hollowless stone of the divine mind, that contains the universe in its concavity, and is the life of all living beings (and not the dull, lifeless and hollow salagrama stone which they worship as an emblem of the divine mind).

15. The stone of which I have been speaking to you, is of a marvelous and supernatural kind; and contains in its voidless bosom all things as nothing. (i.e. the ideas and not substances of things).

16. It is the stone like intellect of which I have spoken to you, and which contains all these massive worlds within its spacious sphere. It is figuratively called a stone from its solidity, cohesive impenetrability and indivisibility like those of a block.

17. This solid substance of the intellect, notwithstanding its density and un-porousness, contains all the worlds in itself, as the infinite space of heaven is filled with the subtle and atmospheric air. (The divine mind like external nature, is devoid of a vacuity in it, according to the common adage: "Nature abhors a vacuum").

18. The mind is occupied with all its various thoughts, as the world is filled by the earth and sky, the air and atmosphere, and the mountains and rivers on all sides, there is not hole or hollow, which is not occupied by some thing or other in it.

19. The solid soul of God which resembles this massive stone, contains in it all these worlds which are displayed (to our deluded sight), as so many beds of lotuses in their blooming beauty;and yet there is nothing so very pure and unsullied as this solid crystalline soul. (The soul like a crystal, reflects its light in various forms).

20. As it is the practice of men to paint blocks of stones, with the figures of lotuses, conch shells and the like images; so it is the tendency of the fanciful mind, to picture many fantastic of all times in the solid rock of the soul. (The soul like a crystal stone is wholly blank in itself, it is only the imaginative mind, that tinges it in different shades and colours).

21. All things in the world appear to be situated exactly in the same state, as the various figures carved on the breast of a stone, seem to be separate though they are bellied in the same relief. (All distinctions blend in the same receptacle).

22. As the carved lotus is not distinct from the body of the stone, so no part of existence is set apart from the substantiality of the divine intellect; which represents its subtile ideas in their condensed forms.
3 of 3 said…
23. This formal creation is as inseparable from the formless intellect of God, as the circular forms of lotus flowers which are carved in a stone, are not separate from the great body of the shapeless stone.

24. These endless chains of worlds, are all linked up in the boundless intellect of the Deity; in the same manner as the clusters of lotus flowers are carved together in a stone; and as a great many seeds, are set together in the inside of a long pepper.

25. These revolving worlds have neither their rise nor fall in the sphere of the infinite intellect, but they remain as firm as the kernel of a bel fruit, and as fixed as the fidelity of a faithful wife.

26. The revolution of worlds and their changing scenes, that are seen to take place in their situation in the Divine Intellect, do not prove the changeableness of the all containing Infinite Mind, because its contents of finite things are so changeable in their nature. (The container is not necessarily of the nature of its contents).

27. All these changes and varieties subside at last in the divine intellect, as the waves and drops of water sink down in the Sea; and the only change which is observable in the Supreme Intellect, is its absorption of all finite changes into its infinity. (All finite forms and their temporary transformations, terminate finally into infinity).

28. The word (Fiat) that has produced this all, causes their changes and dissolutions also in itself. Know then that Brahma from whom this fiat and these changes have sprung, and all these being accompanied with Brahma and the original fiat, the word change is altogether meaningless. (There is no new change from what is ordained from the beginning).

29. Brahma being both the mainspring as well as the main stay of all changes in nature; He is neither excluded from or included under any change, which occur in the sphere of his immensity (i.e. the spirit of God being the unchanging source of all phenomenal changes, is not exempted from the mutations that occur in his infinity. So says the poet: "These as they change are but the varied God &c." Thompson).

30. And know this in one or other of the two senses, that the change of the divine spirit in the works of creation, resembles the change or development of the seed into its stem, fruits and flowers and other parts; or that it is a display of delusion maya like the appearance of water in the mirage. (Here the changing scenes of nature, are viewed in both lights of evolution and illusion).

31. As the substance of seed goes on gradually transforming itself into the various states of its development, so the density of the divine intellect (or spirit) condenses itself the more and more in its production of solid and compact world, and this is the course of the formation of the cosmos by slow degrees.

32. The union of the seed with the process of its development forms the duality, that is destroyed by the loss of either of these. It is imagination only that paints the world as a dull material thing, when there is no such grossness in the pure intellect. (The gloss explains this passage to mean that, It is the doctrine of dualists to maintain the union of the productive seed or spirit of God, with the act of producing the material world to be coeternal, and the one becomes null without the other, but this tenet is refuted on the ground of the impossibility of the Combination of the immaterial with the material, whence the material world is proved to be a nullity and mere illusion).

33. The intellect and dull matter cannot both combine together, nor can the one be included under the other, therefore the ideal world resembles the marks inscribed in the stone and no way different in their natures.

34. As the pith and marrow of a fruit, is no other than the fruit itself; so the cosmos forms the gist of the solid intellect, and no way separable from the same; which is like a thick stone containing marks, undermarks, underlined under one another.
Anonymous said…

35. So we see the three worlds lying under one another, in the womb of the unity of God; as we behold the sleeping and silent marks of lotuses and conch shells, inscribed in the hollow of a stone.

36. There is no rising nor setting (i.e. the beginning or end), of the course of the world (in the mind of God); but every thing is as fixed and immovable in it, as the inscription carved in a stone.

37. It is the pith and marrow of the divine intellect, that causes the creative power and the act of creation;as it is the substance of the stone, that produces and reduces the figures in the stone.

38. As the figures in the stone, have no action or motion of their own;so the agents of the world have no action of theirs, nor is this world ever created or destroyed at any time (but it continues for ever as carved in the mind of God).

39. Every thing stands as fixed in the mind of God, as if they were the firm and immovable rocks; and all have their forms and positions in the same manner as they are ordained and situated in the Divine Mind.

40. All things are filled with the essence of God, and remain as somnolent in the Divine mind; the various changes and conditions of things that appear to us in this world, are the mere vagaries of our erroneous fancy; for every thing is as fixed and unchanged in the mind of God, as the dormant images on a stone.

41. All actions and motions of things are as motionless in mind of God, as the carved lie asleep in the hollow of a stone. It is the wrong superfluous view of things, that presents to us all these varieties and changes; but considered in the true and spiritual light, there is body nor any change that presents itself to our sight.
Anonymous said…

One must first understand the true sense of the word honour:

Honour = “She (the source) of (the flowing) river.”

The original true sense of the English word “honour” may be found by tracing the etymology back from the Old English “hōn” to Old Norse “hón” (“she”) + the (Old Norse) genitive (pertaining to origin) suffix “ár,” from á (“water, stream, river”)


Old Norse hón “she”:

Old Norse á (see genitive ár):
Anonymous said…

Dear Jagadananda Das, Regarding the word "honour," think in terms of "one’s consciousness merged in the flow of the Divine Current.”
Jagadananda said…
I cannot see the relevance of your etymology here (as is frequently the case I must add).

I am not too happy about the translation and am thinking of revising one more time. The word is pAtram. In the next anuccheda we have adhiSThAna, which is close in idea, yet different in some ways.

The whole subject in the Bhagavatam arises around the issue of the Rajasuya sacrifice, where it was necessary to seek a "guest of honor", I suppose to represent in human form the Deity. At any rate, in this respect, if your latter meaning is acceptable, then it would rather be that one is eligible for honor, as Jiva Goswami says, to the extent that the Divinity is clearly manifest in that person. The greater the transparent presence of the Divine, the more worshipable is the person, object, creature, etc.

The problem here is the immanence and transcendence of the Deity. Hindu scriptures repeatedly invoke the presence of the Deity in not-exactly pantheistic terms, perhaps we would be better off using Max Muller's term henotheism or kathenotheism. Certainly the advice to meditate on the Divine Presence in different ways according to the characteristics of the Object (see next anuccheda)
Anonymous said…

Honour = “She (the source) of (the flowing) river.”

पात्र (pā'tra) “the channel of a river; a drinking-vessel, goblet, bowl, cup, dish, pot, plate, utensil etc., any vessel or receptacle” (Think of the vessel as the womb of creation here Jagadananda Das, from which one drinks in through the eyes):

अधिष्ठान (adhi-ṣṭhā'na) → अधि (adhi) + ष्ठा (ṣṭhā) + न (na)

अधि (adhi) 1. “a woman in her courses.” 2. “from above:”

ष्ठा (ṣhṭhā) see √ स्था (sthā) “to present one's self before; to be directed to or fixed on; to stay, remain, continue in any condition; to continue to be or exist (as opp. to 'perish'), endure; to be with or belong to; to cause to continue, make durable, strengthen; to fix in or on, lead or bring into, direct or turn towards; to give in marriage; to cause to stand still, stop, arrest, check, hold, keep in, restrain; to keep, save, preserve

न (na) identical; unbroken; jewel, pearl; gift; welfare; of Buddha; of Gaṇeśa; = प्रस्तुत (prá-stuta); a musical instrument; knowledge.

My person will write tomorrow regarding the last two paragraphs of your reply Jagadananda Das.


ष्ठा (ṣhṭhā):

स्था (sthā) see 1, 2 (and also Stha listed in between):

न (na) see 3:
Anonymous said…

Honour = “She (the source) of (the flowing) river.”

पात्र (pā'tra) “the channel of a river; a drinking-vessel, goblet, bowl, cup, dish, pot, plate, utensil etc., any vessel or receptacle” (Think of the vessel as the womb of creation here Jagadananda Das, from which one drinks in through the eyes):

अधिष्ठान (adhi-ṣṭhā'na) → अधि (adhi) + ष्ठा (ṣṭhā) + न (na)

अधि (adhi) 1. “a woman in her courses" (Again, think of the womb of creation here Jagadananda Das). 2. “from above:”

ष्ठा (ṣhṭhā) see √ स्था (sthā) “to present one's self before; to be directed to or fixed on; to stay, remain, continue in any condition; to continue to be or exist (as opp. to 'perish'), endure; to be with or belong to; to cause to continue, make durable, strengthen; to fix in or on, lead or bring into, direct or turn towards; to give in marriage; to cause to stand still, stop, arrest, check, hold, keep in, restrain; to keep, save, preserve

न (na) identical; unbroken; jewel, pearl; gift; welfare; of Buddha; of Gaṇeśa; = प्रस्तुत (prá-stuta); a musical instrument; knowledge.

My person will write tomorrow regarding the last two paragraphs of your reply Jagadananda Das.


ष्ठा (ṣhṭhā):

स्था (sthā) see 1, 2 (and also Stha listed in between):

न (na) see 3:

Further Notes

The etymology you have quoted (from only dates back as far as circa 1200, your etymology needs to be far earlier Jagadananda Das.
Anonymous said…

In the breathless state, the physical body is cast off and one’s lucid consciousness crosses over (the threshold of life-and-death) impelled through the doorway (which opens up) and entering into the womb of all creation (hiraṇya-garbhá). When ones lucid consciousness returns (and is re-born) to the body, one is able to perceive the light, a flowing river of light from the source of the womb of all creation (hiraṇya-garbhá).

A guest of honour, is one (undivided) twice-born from the light who perceives the flow of light from the source (which is likened to “a woman in her courses”).

Perceiving the light whilst simultaneously maintaining normal vision (in the physical world) is known by the Kaula as śāmbhavi mudrā.
Anonymous said…

One who is twice-born in the śāmbhava state (drinking in light through the eyes from the womb of all creation) is truly honoured.


Honour = “She (the source) of (the flowing) river.”
Anonymous said…

Think of the twice-born (as an emanation of the hiraṇya-garbhá), who in the śāmbhava state (in union with Deity and the physical world), represents the Deity personified in human form.
Anonymous said…

In light of all that has been said, one hopes the truth of these words finds you:

रज (raja) + सूय (sūya) → र (ra) + ज (ja) + सू (sū) + य (ya)


रज (raja) see 1:

र (ra) see 3 (N.B.* “brightness, splendour etc.):

ज (ja) see 2 & 3:

सूय (sūya) see column 3:

सू (sū):

य (ya) see 4:
Śambhunātha said…

An interesting topic of further research.


Of his many teachers, five stand out (Müller-Ortega 1988, 45-47). The first of these is Lakṣmanagupta, disciple of Utpaladeva in the lineage of the revered Somānanda, author of the Vision of Śiva (Śivadṛṣṭi) and initiate of the esteemed Tryambaka lineage (Nemec 2011). From Lakṣmanagupta, Abhinavagupta learned several systems of non-dual philosophy and practice that were central to his own eventual systematization, including the Triad ( Trika) and Recognition (Pratyabhijñā) systems. From Bhūtirāja he learned the Sequence (Krama) system. Under the tutelage of Bhāskara he learned the Vibration (Spanda) system and guided by Bhaṭṭa Tauta he immersed himself in aesthetics and philosophy of language. The most important of his many teachers is undoubtedly Śambhunātha who initiated Abhinavagupta into the Kaula or Embodied tradition and guided him into what Abhinavagupta believed to be the highest stages of spiritual realization. So great was Abhinavagupta’s adoration for Śambhunātha that he compared him with the sun and described him as “the moon appearing over the ocean of Trika knowledge” (Dupuche 2008, 7). It is from Śambhunātha that Abhinavagupta received the esoteric and sacred descent of power (śaktipāta) that awakens the Coiled Power (kuṇḍalinī-śakti) at the base of the spinal column leading to the purification of the subtle body as a result of the ascendance of this spiritual energy into the crown of the head — an ascendance that is said to bring about full recognition of one’s divine nature (Ferrario 2015; Wallis 2007; Lidke 2005; Silburn 1988). Just as Abhinavagupta was conceived through an act of esoteric Tantric, sexual ritual so was his initiation by Śambhunātha bestowed via a secret sexual rite in which a Tantric messenger (dūtī) served as the conduit for his mystical awakening. In his Light on Tantra (Tantrāloka), the massive compendium on Tantric practice that Abhinavagupta would later write at the behest of Śambhunātha, Abhinavagupta would devote an entire chapter to this rite, which he termed the rahaysa-vidhi or “secret injunction” (Lidke 2005; Dupuche 2008).



रहस्यविधि (rahaysa-vidhi)

रहस्य (rahaysa):

विधि (vidhi):

One will of course bear this re-translation in mind:

अजपा नाम गायत्री योगिनां मोक्षदायिनी ।

ajapā nāma gāyatrī yogināṁ mokṣadāyinī |

Oh Viṣṇu, drinking in light through the eyes, there is no poison of time; coming into this state of joining with the light, protects, preserves, defends and rescues one from time. Attaining the light of the womb, one abides in an undying state. This state produces the effect of cutting off the effects of time; by which one may escape and move away from the measure of time’s destruction of the world.


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