Continued from Dhruva-stutipage2

This sets up the tradition of sat-sangh, the association with noble souls.  In all of Hindu religious literature (and there is no reason to suppose it is otherwise in other religious literature) the value of such association is never superseded  by any other religious value. It is the only force which inexorably produces the attachment to the divine. The very strange and powerfully distracting  (ulbaNam)  abyss of samsAra can be crossed  very easily (anjasA) by the spiritualising effect of sharing of the Lord's stories and exploits with like-minded souls of devotion. Every one of their activities, consciously done or unconsciously, is an eloquent expression of the surge of divine love and proclaim it to the whole world. They are like the neem tree which purifies the very air we breathe. That is why Narada confidently says, (Narada-bhakti-sUtra No.68):

kaNTAvarodha-romAncASrubhiH
parasparaM lapamAnAH pAvayanti kulAni pRthVIMca //

Conversing with one another with choking voice, tearful eyes, 
and horripilation, they purify not only their families 
but the land which gave birth to them.


Verse No.7

te na smarantyatitarAM priyamISa martyaM 
ye cAnvadas-suta-suhRd-gRha-vitta-dArAH /
ye tvabja-nAbha-bhavadIya-padAra-vinda-
saugandhya-lubdha-hRdayeshu kRta-prasangAH //

Oh Padmanabha! They do not get involved in the memory of either their mortal body, or its necessary accessories as  kith and kin, friend and  foe, property, money and spouse; because they are already immersed in the association with noble souls whose minds are lost in the fragrance of Your divine feet.

This verse characterises divine love, also called Spiritual Love (see the entire chapter on The Art and Science of Spiritual Love starting from 'The non-Absolutist School'). The finest example of this was that of the gopis to Lord Krishna. cf. Bhagavatam.10-30-44:

tan-manaskAs-tadAlApAH tad-viceShTAs-tadAtmikAH /
tadguNAn-eva gAyantyaH nAtmAgArANi sasmaruH 
//
Their hearts given to Him, they talked of Him alone,
they imitated His sportful activities,  
they could not think of themselves as different 
from Him. Singing His glories all the time, 
they could not think of  their own homes.

The Gita praises this kind of spiritual Love as the Acme of bhakti . It  refers to this as  total involvement and complete commitment to the Divine,  in Gita (5 - 17):

tadbuddhayas-tadAtmAnaH tannishTAs-tat-parAyaNAH /
gachanty-apunarAvRttiM jnAna-nirdhUta-kalmashAH //

Intellect absorbed in That Absolute, 
their Self being That Itself, established in That Self, 
with That for their supreme Goal, they go whence 
there is no return, their sins dispelled by knowledge.

It would be quite appropriate here to recall the classic instance from the Ramayana where Sita, left alone as Ravana's captive in the Asoka grove, is counting days in the expectation that Her Lord would one day come and redeem her. This is how Hanuman who, having located her  from his hiding place on the trees, describes her state of spiritual yearning for the One Spiritual absolute, Rama. (Valmiki Ramayana: 5 - 16-25):

naishA paSyati rAkshasyo nemAn pushpa-phala-drumAn /
ekastha-hRdayA nUnaM rAmam-evAnupaSyati 
//
She does not see the 
rAkshasis 
nor does she see these trees laden with flowers and  fruits.
Her heart is centred on one single object (alone)  
and she is undoubtedly seeing Rama and Rama alone all the time. 

Verse No.8

tiryang-naga-dvija-sarI-sRpa-deva-daitya-
martyAdibhiH paricitaM sad-asad-viSeshaM /
rUpaM sthavishTaM aja te mahad-AdyanekaM 
nAtaH paraM parama vedmi na yatra vAdaH //

Oh Ultimate One! The Birthless One! I know only this magnificent material form of Yours which has causes like mahat and the like, which is full of gross and subtle elements and which is constituted by the world of animals, mountains, trees, birds, reptiles, gods, demons and humans. I do not know that which transcends all words, (that which is behind all these).

Dhruva comes back to the taTastha-lakshaNa but now refers to the Transcendence aspect of the Lord. Verses 1 and 2 emphasized the Immanence aspect, verse 3 started the taTastha -lakshaNa, verses 4 to 7  were overcome with the bhakti aspect which thattaTastha-lakshaNa prompted  and he now continues thetaTastha-lakshaNa. And in recalling the transcendence aspect of the Lord he points to the dizzy  heights of philosophy in the same way one points to the Transcendental Absolute by the indicative character of the taTastha-lakshaNa. He says in so many words; I see You in the universe but I don't see You who are transcending the universe.  In saying this he is echoing the sentiments expressed in the famous nAsadIya-sUkta of Rg-veda. We quote below from the corresponding portion of the yajur veda, where there is almost a repetition of the nAsadIya-sUkta:

ko addhA veda ka iha pravocat / kuta AjAtA kuta iyam visRshTiH //
arvAg devA asya visarjane na / athA ko veda yata AbabhUva //
iyam visRshTir-yata AbabhUva / yadi vAdadhe yadi vA na //
yo asyA-dhyakshaH parame vyoman / so anga veda yadi vA na veda
 //
Who verily knows and who can declare it?
Whence it was born ,and  whence this manifold creation sprang?
The lower gods who came later into being would not know.
Does the Creator, from whom everything came, know?
Does He know whether it was His will or not that formed it?
The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven, 
He verily knows it -- or perchance  He knows  not.

So Dhruva says: This entire universe,  animate and inanimate,  the gross as well as  the subtle is pervaded by you,  but You are said to transcend everything. You are said to be beyond words.  Of the five elements, Earth, Water and fire can be visually seen - these constitute the sat; Air and Space cannot be visually seen - these constitute the asat. The entire universe is made up of the sat and the asat.  But You are beyond both. Also sat represents the concrete effect, namely the Space and the other elements. Andasat represents the subtle Cause behind, like the Unmanifest.  You transcend both.  Thus You are beyond Cause and Effect. You are not comprehensible by words. You cannot  be delimited by finite expressions. Such a one as You are is beyond me. What I see is what I know.
Dhruva is only giving expression to the Rgvedic thought which has now become classical - namely, the relationship between the universe and God,  that is,  the question whether  originally there was Existence (
sat) or non-Existence (asat),  is undecidable (anirvacanIyaM) because, 

yukti-dRshTyA-tvanirvAcyaM nAsadAsIditi SruteH /
nAsadAsIt vibhAtatvAt nosadAsIcca-bAdhanAt /
///
By human logic it is undecidable. The 
nAsadIya sUkta also says so.
Originally it could not have been non-existence, because now it exists; it could not have been Existence, because the universe  came  into being later and that means whatever that existed has changed. 


Verse No.9

kalpAnta etad-akhilaM jaTareNa gRhNan
Sete pumAn svadRg-ananta-sakhas-tad-anke /
yannAbhi-sindhu-ruha-kAncana-loka-padma-
garbhe-dyumAn bhagavate praNato'smi tasmai //

I prostrate before the Lord, the Purusha, who is fixed in His own Self, who absorbs the entire universe at the end of the kalpa in His own stomach, who sleeps on the folds of AdiSesha, his friend, and in Whose navel rises the stem of the Golden Lotus from which Brahma came out.

The phenomenon of the Lord withdrawing everything unto Himself at the end of the kalpa  and releasing them at the beginning of the next morning of Brahma is mentioned in all the Hindu scriptures. cf. Gita: 9 - 7:

sarva-bhUtAni kaunteya  prakRtiM yAnti mAmikAM /
kalpa-kshaye punastAni kalpAdau visRjAmy-ahaM
 //
All beings go into My 
prakRti at the end of a kalpa
I send them forth again at the beginning of the (next) 
kalpa.

For explanation of 
kalpa see Cosmic Day of Brahma


The words kAncana-loka-padma-garbe are significant. The Creator Brahma woke up in the stem of the golden lotus which sprang from the navel of the Lord.For this reason he is also called hiraNya-garbha (Golden Conception). As HiraNya-garbhaHe has a great charge, namely, the charge of the golden container representing the reservoir of all our vAsanAs.  This is the one that brings forth our repeated births in the transmigratory cycle, so that we may exhaust our vAsanAs.  But instead of exhausting them we add further to the reservoir. And naturally the true phase of Reality is hidden from us because of the opaqueness of the reservoir of our vAsanAs.  The ISa-Upansihad therefore contains almost as its last verse a prayer to the Sun-God, who represents this hiraNya-garbha, to give us the vision to transcend our individuality brought on us by ourvAsanAs. A meaning of significance of this prayer is contained inRaghavendra.


Verse No.10

tvaM nitya-mukta-pariSuddha-vibuddha AtmA
kUtastha Adi-purusho bhagavAn-stryadhISaH/
yad-buddhy-avasthitim-akhaNDitayA svadRshTyA
drashTA sthitA-vadhimakho vyatirikta Asse //

 

You are ever-liberated, perfectly pure, the Omniscient Self, the Immutable, the most Ancient Person, the One with all divine attributes, the Lord of the three worlds and guNas. You,  though being the uninterrupted Witness, by your Cosmic Vision, of the state of intelligence and also the Lord of all sacrifices,  are ever aloof from the jIva, the individual soul.

Now we come to the svarUpa-lakshaNa of the Lord. As explained in The Absolute As It Is, satyam jnAnaM anantaM is the definition of the Transcendental Absolute. 

satyam ( Truth)      is the same as        sat (Absolute Existence).

jnAnaM (Knowledge)  and  cit (Consciousness)      are the same.

anantaM (Infinite)  and                  Ananda (Bliss) are the same.

These three facets are presented in EACH of the lines (lines 1, 2 and 4) of this 10th verse of Dhruva-stuti.  Since the gAytrI itself is a presentation of these  three facets of the  Absolute in its three lines, this 10th verse is taken to represent the gAyatrI. How the three facets of the Absolute, namely sat, cit, Ananda  are presented in the lines of this verse and also in the gAyatrI is given in the following table.

Continued on Dhruva-stutipage4

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© Copyright V.Krishnamurthy January 2000