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Thread: Symbols of the mahābhārata

  1. #21
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    I wrote some time back:

    It is said there are 4 indispensable elements to any śāstra. I list 5 below which is more accounting then any difference of opinion…

    • prayojaña - a purpose or aim
    • adhikārī - one competent to learn or study; Note that this infers there is an adhikārin अधिकारिन् i.e.one possessing authority, entitled to, or fit to teach the student.
    • abhidheya - meaning 'that which is expressed or referred to' i.e. the subject at hand, the subject matter to learn.
    • abhidhāna - a name , title ; lexicon
    • sambandha - binding together, joining, close connection. But of what? the connection between the title of the śāstra and the subject matter i.e. The title (abhidhāna) and the subject matter (abhidheya).
    When we look to the mahābhārata one may think of this book in any of the following ways:

    • The great (mahā) bhārata
    • The story of the war within the mahābhārata
    • The great (mahā) land called bhārata – bhāratavarṣa, named after king bharata.

    These notions are well and good, yet there is more to consider as the title (abhidhāna) of any great work is of great importance
    and adds/indicates what is covered within the knowledge held therein.

    We know mahā = great. Yet what of this bhārata ? Bhārata has multiple ( rich) meanings:

    • descended from bharata or the bharata-s – which suggests those that descended from king bharata. So with this in mind one would say the mahābhārata is that knowledge that deals with the great descendants of king bharata.

    Yet if we look further we find other meanings, something deeper, or abhedasārā, the essence or ‘marrow’ of the knowledge contained within the mahābhārata.
    If we look to the śatápatha brāhmaṇa¹ agni is called out as bharata in one section and in another he is prāṇa. Now we have a different view that can be considered
    of the knowledge within the mahābhārata. This grand work of the mahābhārata is that which addresses any and all things within the purview of prāṇa and agni.
    There is no living being that is outside these two principles. It encompasses not only all of descendants of bharata but of all that reside on this good earth.
    This suggests the knowledge that is offered affects and is applicable to all. That is what it is so great (mahā); because it is all encompassing, all inclusive.

    iti śivaṁ

    words


    • śatápatha (or śatá + patha) having a hundred (~numerous~) paths; proceeding in a hundred ways. The śatápatha brāhmaṇa resides within the śukla yajurveda; It has two major sections ( some like to call these recensions), the vājasaneyi mādhyandina śākhā and kāṇva śākhā. The first one has 100 adhyāyas (chapters) within 14 kāṇḍas (books). It is called such as its author was the renouned yājñavalkya vājasaneya who we find often within the śastra-s. The other section is of the latter 104 adhyāyas ( chapters) within 17 kāṇḍas (books) and the author is kāṇva-ji, who is of the family of kāṇva; we find these ṛṣi-s ( seers) of the ṛg veda.
      • agni and prāṇa are called out in sections 1.4.2.2 and 1.5.1.8 ( book, chapter, section, verse format shown)


    Last edited by yajvan; 31 January 2016 at 04:06 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #22
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    I wrote,
    When we look to the mahābhārata one may think any of the following:
    The great (mahā) bhārata
    The story of the war within the mahābhārata
    The great (mahā) land called bhārata – bhāratavarṣa, named after king bharata.
    The mahābhārata is masterful in its use of the indirect method (praṇāḍikayā), though hints and symbols (lakṣaṇā)
    of explaining great ideas and wisdom.
    This
    śastra is considered itihāsa - iti-ha-āsa , ‘so indeed it was’ or history ( his-story). Yet one can look at this another way – and that is why I remain a śiṣya
    ( to be taught, a student/pupil¹) of this great knowledge.

    The notion of itihāsa can also be viewed as iti-hā-sa

    • iti = thus, that is, in this manner ; i = iti =itya ( from itya) to be gone to or ( to go) towards.
    • hā = knowledge ; yet to say ‘hā’ only means knowledge would be misleading. Let me mention a few more that are ( I my eyes) relevant to the offering herein.
      • an exclamation satisfaction ( as we even use today - hā!!)
      • to go or depart or betake one's self to have recourse to
      • to discharge , emit
      • to become detached from
      • to wish to escape

    • sa – names of viṣṇu or śiva; This ‘sa’ is a ~ big deal~ within trika ( another name for non dual kaśmir śaivism). It is said¹, as among figures, the 4-armed Viṣṇu, the 3-eyed Śiva, etc. among spirituous liquors, surā, āsava etc. lead one forcibly as it were to the state of bhairava, among all the akṣara (~ phonemes~, sounds, letters) 'sa' leads to the state of bhairava. Bhairava¹ as the name for the Supreme in non-dual kaśmir śaivism.

    So if we take stock of what has been offered above, the mahābhārata in the light of itihāsa is that śastra, that knowledge (hā) that leads one toward (iti) the Supreme (sa).

    iti śivaṁ


    words

    • pupil – in this case the teacher is NV Thadanai and his work found in The Mystery of The Mahābhārata, written 1934.
    • 'It is said' - from āgamādhikāra 2a.12, referenced in parā-trīśikā vivaraṇa's review of śloka-s 9-18.
    • Who is bhairava ? We can use the following which is found in the tantra-loka ( chapter 1, 96th śloka) of abhinavagupta-ji :
      viśvaṃ bibharti pūraṇadhāraṇayogena tena ca śriyate |
      savimarśatayā rava rūpataśca saṃsārabhīruhitakṛcca ||
      96
      this says,
      He who carries the whole universe, who nourishes and supports it,
      and who is carried by it , He is the sound who by His power of awareness
      protects those who are frightened by the world of transmigration (saṃsāra – some use the term saṃcāra).


    Last edited by yajvan; 31 January 2016 at 04:07 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #23
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    ... continuing

    An Authoritative Voice
    Within the mahābhārata we find the viṣṇu sahasrānam¹ ( some too say sahasrānana or ‘thousand-faced’).
    One needs to be mindful of the status of the mahābhārata’s author, vyāsa, as his ~position~ is called out within viṣṇusahasrānam.
    It says the following:

    vyāsāya viṣṇurūpāya vyāsarūpāya viṣṇave |
    namō vai brahmanidhaye vāsiṣṭhāya namō namaḥ || 4

    I bow before vyāsa who is viṣṇu, viṣṇu who is vyāsa
    again and again I bow before, He, who is born, In the family of vāsiṣṭhā ||

    This informs us we are in good company with the mahābhārata’s author. But why mention this? Think of this author. What would he want us to know ? to what level, depth and breath, can he speak? His accuracy and perfect view on all subjects ?

    Many of us (including me ) go from story-to-story within the mahābhārata and say, what does this mean? What is the wisdom here? One needs to click-up a few levels and look at this great work from a holistic point of view. It then, for me, makes more sense as I see all the stories (paurāṇika¹) in a new light.

    Three Levels
    Madhvācārya-ji says the mahābhārata can be looked at , or addresses 3 levels ( simultaneously no doubt):

    • aitihāsika – historical; derived from legend, who knows ancient legend
    • manuvāda – discourse and doctrine on sacred texts; the father of men (manu); the first to have instituted sacrifices and religious ceremonies , and associated with the ṛṣis kaṇva and atri. Hence this is suggesting all of the knowledge on dharma, virtue , proper life-supporting action, scared study and the like.
    • apāra-cara – or within (cara) the boundless (apāra); the notion here that every part and parcel ( words, ideas, pravan-s or sections) of the mahābhārata holds the fullness of the Supreme; a sort of declaration of the Supreme in every thought-deed-action that resides within each word. That is , it is āstika or ‘there is or exists’ the Supreme.

    Yajvan, you mention the Supreme, 'there is or exists' but what else ? There is no else. There is only the Supreme. This ( for me) is supported beyond reproach by the very 1st word
    of the śiva sūtra-s. It says caitanyamātmā.

    • ātmā = the reality of everything, the essence, the nature
    • caitanya = Supreme consciousness

    We take our lead from the wise; kṣemarāja-ji translates this one idea as , This Supreme ( independent state of God Consciousness) is the form.
    He does not say the form of what or of whom, where, when, how, or why – he says the ‘form’. It is the ‘form’ of everything, this is our take-away
    and this is supported by svāmī lakṣman-jū’s commentary on kṣemarāja-ji. Said another way, there is no-thing It is not. This aligns perfectly with apāra-cara as āstika
    just mentioned above.
    This ,the 3 levels, suggest to me that vyāsa-viṣṇu is that competent Being and author that speaks to these 3 levels and His knowledge is spotless, comprehensive
    and authoritative.

    The Macro-background of the mahābhārata

    So , we have these 3 venues just mentioned. We can ask, what then is the macro-background, the ‘screen’ that the story of the mahābhārata unfolds upon ?
    It unfolds upon the waxing and waning of time ; huge eons of time that come and go. On this screen are different points of view, trying
    to answer the question as to what is Reality? What is our nature ? What is action and what do we need to do (dharma). It is by the vision of
    vyāsa that
    he talks of truth, asks questions ( as within the viṣṇu sahasrānam, the bhāgavad gītā , etc) that he brings out the knowledge and wisdom of the ages.

    It is done though hints and symbols (lakṣaṇā), indirectly (praṇāḍikayā), and at times directly. Sometimes we 'get it' , other times not so much and we need a helping hand to peel back
    the stories and symbols for us to discern the underlying truths.

    With that, we will look at a few notions as examples of what has been mentioned in some upcoming posts.

    iti śivaṁ

    words

    • sahasrānam : sahasra = 1,000 + āna = face; yet note that ānam = to do homage, to bend, salute reverently. Hence the beauty of sahasrānam suggesting to give homage, to bow 1,000 times to viṣṇu.
    • The viṣṇusahasrānam is found in the anuśāsana parvan of the mahābhārata; anuśāsana = instruction, direction + parvan = section or chapter.

    The viṣṇusahasrānam is the ‘instruction’ given by bhīṣma ; It came about by a question asked of yudhiṣṭhiraḥ (one of the 5 pāṇḍava-s). He says:
    kimekaṁ daivataṁ lōke kiṁ vāpyekaṁ parāyaṇaṁ |
    stuvaṁtaḥ kaṁ kamarcaṁtaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ śubham || 8
    kō dharmaḥ sarvadharmāṇāṁ bhavataḥ paramō mataḥ |
    kiṁ japanmucyate jaṁturjanmasaṁsārabaṁdhanāt || 9

    this says in general,
    Who in this wide world is that one God who is the only shelter?
    Who is He ( to) whom, Beings worship and pray, and get salvation ?
    Who is He who should often be worshiped with love?
    Which Dharma is so great, there is none greater?
    And which is to be often chanted to get free from these bondage of life ?


    • paurāṇika - versed in ancient legends and stories
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 March 2016 at 09:17 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #24
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    continuing with...
    The Macro-background of the mahābhārata
    Let me use one verse from the bhāgavad gītā ( a 700 verse/section from the mahābhārata no doubt) to support a point of view I offered in post 23 above:
    Kṛṣṇa-jī is speaking as says the following to arjuna:

    paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām |
    dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge || 4.8
    Kṛṣṇa-jī says He creates Himself ( this is indicated in verse 4.7) and returns ‘yuge yuge’, or yuga after yuga¹.
    That is, He returns again and again , He takes birth again and again yuga after yuga.

    Why does He return ? To firmly establish dharma (once again) and protect the righteous, so says this 4.8 verse. My teacher used the term
    righteous for sādhūnāṃ as sādhu = straight, good, right. I mention this as many will see 'sādhu'as the spiritual sage, the mendicant
    or holy man/woman and that too is no doubt the ‘straight, good, right’.
    The other term paritrāṇāya = to protect/protection and the deliverance from. But from whom ? From duṣkṛtām = wrongly or wickedly done ,
    badly arranged or organized or applied. We read often that this verse calls out the wicked (person), all well and good, but there is a more significant,
    deeper meaning and this gives us a clue to the macro-view of the mahābhārata.

    First we note that ages come and go, yuga-s come and go. Cycles upon cycles occur again and again. Within these cycles, truth and dharma wax and wane –
    they grow and decay. This is the way of the world ( code for all time and place i.e. the universe). Within this growth and decay various philosophies (darśana-s¹) arise and
    depart; ‘grow and decay’ become established and then erode.
    So , there are 2 points:
    · yuga-s come and go. Within these yuga-s various philosophies (darśana-s¹) become established and they too come and go.
    · The Supreme returns to ‘paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām’ to protect and deliver the sādhu (straight, good, right) from duṣkṛtām or ‘badly arranged, or badly organized or badly applied’

    Here is pay dirt ( meaning gold) as they say in the West … my term is the ahh-ha! moment.
    The mahābhārata no doubt reflects these 3 qualities as mentioned before:

    • aitihāsika – historical; derived from legend, who knows ancient legend
    • manuvāda – discourse and doctrine on sacred texts; the father of men (manu); the first to have instituted sacrifices and religious ceremonies , and associated with the ṛṣis kaṇva and atri. Hence this is suggesting all of the knowledge on dharma, virtue , proper life-supporting action, scared study and the like.
    • apāra-cara – or within (cara) the boundless (apāra); the notion here that every part and parcel ( words, ideas, pravan-s or sections) of the mahābhārata holds the fullness of the Supreme; a sort of declaration of the Supreme in every thought-deed-action that resides within each word. That is , it is āstika or ‘there is or exists’ the Supreme.

    Here’s is the ahh-ha!
    The mahābhārata brings to the reader the various darśana-s (which align to the manuvāda point above) and how they compare and contrast by application vs. verbiage calling each out as a lesson plan and discussing them. That is, the various families take on the symbols of the different philosophies (darśana-s); various characters represent various views or the voice of that school.
    Some ( like the pāṇḍava) change their views over the course of time due to the influence Kṛṣṇa-jī’s presence. They are being ‘delivered’ from a badly arranged view.

    Kṛṣṇa-jī returns to re-establish the proper view, the proper dharma ‘to deliver the straight, the right, the good’ from badly arranged and applied views (or duṣkṛtām, from
    the bhāgavad gītā verse 4.8 above).This is also why Kṛṣṇa-ji sides with the pāṇḍava, but yet gives his army to the kaurava. In fact it was the kaurava’s choice via duryodhana¹
    to pick kṛṣṇa’s army; arjuna perferred kṛṣṇa. Note the symbolism ? More on this later.

    But what of these differing views ? The symbol used is 18. How many times do you see this 18 ( total chapters of the mahābhārata, chapters of the bhāgavad gītā,
    number of the main purāṇa-s¹), yet there is more:
    From a past post¹ we looked to this 18 :
    · the pāṇḍava army lost 7 akṣauhiṇī-s¹ in the war ( in 18 days no less)
    · the kaurava army lost 11 akṣauhiṇī-s in the same time.
    · Total 18 akṣauhiṇī-s lost ; the total kṣatriya deaths at ~ 3.54 million in 18 days

    Note that 1 akṣauhiṇī = 21,870 chariots ; 21,870 elephants; 65,610 horse-mounted warriors and 109,350 infantry, as per the mahābhārata.
    If we add each number:
    21,870 or 2+1+8+7+0 = 18
    65,610 or 6+5+6+1+0 = 18
    109,350 or 1+0+9+3+5+0 =18
    Hence it seems to me vyāsa (who is viṣṇu, viṣṇu who is vyāsa) is coaching and cajoling us to understand this 18. To ‘get’ its significance of the various philosophies (darśana-s) that guide, support, and directs the proper course of action for people, societies and nations. It is kṛṣṇa-jī ( who is viṣṇu no less) that comes to correct this view from time-to-time. To set the record straight, to assist , guide, point the way, and deliver the righteous to the proper view. The proper view of what ? Of Reality, of life-supporting actions. This, in my humble opinion, is the backdrop , the ‘screen’ on which the mahābhārata takes; a comparison of one school vs. the other and what is the proper view.

    So, what of this 18 from philosophical/darśana point of view ? Let’s take a look in an upcoming post.

    iti śivaṁ

    words and references
    • yuga - an age of the world , long periods of time of which there are four: kṛta or satya , tretā , . dvāpara , & kali that many say we are in now, others argue differently.
    • darśana - observing , looking , noticing , observation , perception ; doctrine; inspection , examination
    • purāṇa – acient, of olden times. A class of sacred works (compiled by vyāsa-ji) to treat of 5 topics or pañcalakṣaṇa; the chief purāṇas are 18 , grouped in 3 divisions : rājasa exalting brahmā the brahma , brahmāṇḍa , brahmavaivarta , mārkaṇḍeya , bhaviṣya , & vāmana purāṇa ; sāttvika exalting viṣṇu - the viṣṇu , bhāgavata , nāradīya , garuḍa , padma, & varāha purāṇa] ; tāmasa exalting śiva i.e. the śiva , liṅga , skanda , agni or in place of it the vāyu , matsya & kūrma purāṇa
      • note to that purāṇa and puraṇa are ~simular~. This puraṇa = sea, ocean , suggesting an ocean of knowledge.
        • The 5 topics (pañcalakṣaṇa)
        • 1. sarga - letting go , discharging; how this universe came about
        • 2. pratisarga - the portion of a purāṇa which treats of the destruction and renovation of the world
        • 3. vamśa: the lineage , race , family , stock; a noble race , a dynasty of kings and gods
        • 4. manvañtara: the yuga-s as they come-and-go
        • 5. vamśānucaritam: legends, lore, during the times of various kings


    • Past post: http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...da-Mahabharata
    • akṣauhiṇī – an army corps
    • duryodhana - eldest son of dhṛtarāṣṭra , leader of the kaurava-s in their war with the pāṇḍavas; this term duryodhana - dur = very bad or difficult or wicked + yodha = fighter, warrior; means 'fighting' and yodhana = the act of fighting , battle , war. Also - duryodha means difficult to be conquered. The term then can be looked at in a few ways:
      • a. duryodhana fights badly ; that is, ineffective
      • b. duryodhana fights badly suggesting non-compliant to the rules of engagement
      • c. duryodhana is a fierce fighter in battle; he is very difficult to over-come
      • d. duryodhana is bad, wicked and pushes back, he fights. This suggests he does not take (accept) good council and apply it. We see this obstinacy many times in the
        mahābhārata
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 March 2016 at 09:13 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #25
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    This number 18
    · the pāṇḍava army lost 7 akṣauhiṇī-s¹ in the war ( in 18 days no less)
    · the kaurava army lost 11 akṣauhiṇī-s in the same time.
    · Total 18 akṣauhiṇī-s lost ; the total kṣatriya deaths at ~ 3.54 million in 18 days
    We look to this number 18 and see it’s made of 11 + 7. Yet N.V. Thadani ( author of Mystery of the Mahābhārata, a 5 volume, set written in 1934) suggests that 11 = 5 + 6.
    Each one of these numbers 5+6+7 , represents a darśana, a philosophical point of view. But of what? How all this’ ( creation and all that occurs) comes about.

    The core 3 are vedānta, yoga and sāṁkhya ( some write sāṅkhya) which align to viṣṇu, śiva, and brahmā ( the creator, not brahman) From these 3 one can re-examine their views slightly differently and then come up with 2 more views ( we’re now up to 5); And one could also view vedānta in different lights and see it as purva mīmāṁsā and uttara mīmāṁsā for a total of 6:

    • sāṁkhya
    • yoga
    • vedānta
    • mīmāṃsā
    • nyāya
    • vaiśeṣika

    These views, at the macro-level, wish to comprehend, explain, & examine the subject of puruṣa ( pure Being) and prakṛti (~ nature~) and how it applies to bring about all ‘this’.

    For now let me address the core darśana-s aforementioned. In a future post we can expand the 3 in a different light that gets us to the 6 darśana-s listed above. Yet let’s say for now it’s like baking a cake; what if I add a little more of this and take-away a bit of that, then what do I get? It’s sort of like this very crude example.

    Puruṣa ( pure Being) and prakṛti ( ~ nature~)
    It is important at this point to better understand the definition of prakṛti as it is key to this and future conversations. Saying it is ‘nature’ is a mundane view. Consider the term this way:
    prakṛti = pra + kṛti = filling or fulfilling + creation, doing. It is this prakṛti that ‘fills creation’. See the point? Nature kinda does that , but the prakṛti term is more specific.
    Some will remind us that prakṛti can be viewed as pra +ka + ṛti

    • pra – filling
    • ka – happiness,
    • ṛti – misery; enemy, remembrance , memory; going, motion

    We see that pra+ka+ṛti is filled with pleasure and pain.


    • puruṣa (pure Being), Supreme Being. Note that I am not as yet saying the Supreme Creator as described in the purua-sūktam. Why so? It is because some of the schools do not see puruṣa in that light.


    Look to the battlefield - kurukṣetra
    The armies ( 5 + 6 +7 =18) are assembled on the field, kurukṣetra, the field of dharma , dharmakṣetra , so says the mahābhārata.
    The opposing sides are differing schools of thought. ( This is the ahh-ha!) But what could be in opposition, one must ask? The answer:
    What or how did all ‘this’ come about? Or who really is the author to all 'this' ? Here are a few possibilities as points of view:

    • All ‘this’ came about purely by prakṛti (pra+kṛti) only; this is all that there is.
    • All ‘this’ came about purely by prakṛti (pra+kṛti) only, no other agent, even if it existed, was not involved
    • All ‘this’ came about by prakṛti only while some Supreme Being looked on.
    • All ‘this’ material was supplied by a Supreme Being , then got out of the way; This puruṣa set the wheels in motion, then stepped aside
    • All ‘this’ came about by the union of prakṛti and puruṣa
    • All ‘this’ came about by the orchestration of the Supreme, using prakṛti as a tool
    • All ‘this’ is nothing but the Supreme Being, puruṣa, nothing else. You may ‘see’ prakṛti, but it is just another form of puruṣa.

    This as I see it is a very interesting state of affairs and shows once again the depth and breadth of vyāsa (who is viṣṇu, viṣṇu who is vyāsa). The field of views (kurukṣetra) are being considered. Each person with a position ( in rank, status, experience, etc.) exemplify or question, a particular view or stance by word or action, or by his/her lineage ( how they came into the story and the role they play) of a particular school , all the while
    vyāsa-ji is still talking on 3 levels e.g. aitihāsika, manuvāda, & apāra-cara ( see post 24 above).

    The significance of kurukṣetra & dharmakṣetra

    • kurukṣetra

    We know that this term means the field of kuru-s; kuru is the ancestor of both pāṇḍu and dhṛtarāṣṭra. That makes
    perfect sense. Yet we click down one more level and we find kuru = kartāras or ‘doers’.
    kurukṣetra is also the ‘field of doing’ the field of action. Who anyhere does not act? What galaxy is not rotating, moving,
    colliding? What electron is not moving? What person , place, or thing is not in motion, action? Even is you sit perfectly
    still this whole galaxy is turning, is moving ( at 400 miles per second). So, this kurukṣetra is the whole field of creation.

    • dharmakṣetra

    The field of dharma. As mentioned in other posts, dharma is rooted in dhṛ , defined as 'to uphold, balance; to upkeep, preserve; maintain' .
    Dharma is also laws, justice, righteousness, life-supporting behaviors, etc. It is holding to the law , doing one's duty and all that this implies.
    This is where these different schools compare and contrast: on the field of action, the field of law and duty, on the field of actions that ‘uphold’ life and creation.

    The significance of arjuna and
    kṛṣṇa-jī in the middle of the two armies
    This is where the
    bhāgavad gītā takes place. The significance of the middle? It is the 'gap' the in-between place, some call madhya.
    It is where pure awareness resides. This pure awareness = pure Being =
    kṛṣṇa-jī.



    More on this in an upcoming post.

    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 02 March 2016 at 05:21 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #26
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    continuing....
    The significance of arjuna and kṛṣṇa-jī in the middle of the two armies. This is where the bhāgavad gītā takes place

    The significance of the middle? It is the 'gap' the in-between place, some call madhya. It is where pure awareness resides. This pure awareness = pure Being = kṛṣṇa-jī. What is found between (madhye) the breath or prāṇa ( inward, middle, outward) is niṣkala – without parts , some call the transcendent, others may call it pure awareness, this is none other than the Supreme.

    Being the middle also suggests what the power of the Supreme is capable of doing… when there is a decay of dharma the balance of the 3 guna-s is disturbed.
    Equilibrium is changed and put off balance. The symbol of kṛṣṇa-jī being in the middle of the opposing armies, the opposing views clearly informs us that pure awareness, SELF, Being, or kṛṣṇa-jī is that ~force~ that brings balance.
    Yet there is more here to review. My teacher has said, the bhāgavad gītā is the highest expression of divine intelligence understandable by man. Hence when kṛṣṇa-jī speaks it is perfect speech, perfect knowledge, without blemish or error. If anyone has read the bhāgavad gītā, kṛṣṇa-jī addresses multiple levels of knowledge: yoga, devotion, who really does all actions (a discussion on prakṛti), the proper course of action for a human, birth, death, who really in essence are all the gods, etc.

    Yet the big question in my opinion and perhaps the most esoteric (rahasya or concealed, secret) is the following statement from kṛṣṇa-jī that resolves all of the
    disputes from all different schools on this battle field.
    ye caiva sāttvikā bhāvā rājasāstāmasāśca ye|
    mattaḥ eveti tānviddhi na tvahaṁ teṣu te mayi||7.12
    This says,
    All those states of being, states of existence (bhāvā) ( the 3 gua-s) sāttvikā, rājasās & tāmasāśca
    know that (tānviddhi¹) they truly, in this manner (eveti) come from me (mattaḥ);
    they are in me but I not in them (na tvahaṁ teṣu te mayi).

    Here is insight:
    At the very heart of duality views of the world is the notion of ‘me’ and everything that is not ‘me’ i.e. everything else. With this one verse kṛṣṇa-jī is quite clear on this matter. Everything is contained within Him. If it is all Him, where can there be duality ? What can be outside of Him, or other then Him ? In one stoke ( one verse) the core of advaita ( not two) or wholeness resides.

    If you went back to the post 24 above I mention , in broad stokes, there are 2 underlying points to the mahābhārata:
    · yuga-s come and go. Within these yuga-s various philosophies (darśana-s¹) become established and they too come and go.
    · The Supreme returns to ‘paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām’ to protect and deliver the sādhu (straight, good, right) from duṣkṛtām or ‘badly arranged, or badly organized or badly applied’

    This sloka that was just offered (bhāgavad gītā 7.12) addresses the second bullet above. It informs us of what really occurs, what really is the nature of Reality
    and all ‘this’. He also informs us on how all ‘this’ comes about in chapter 9 , 8th śloka:

    prakṛtim svām avastabhya
    visrjami punaḥ punaḥ
    |
    bhūta-grāmam imaṁ kṛtsnam
    avaśaṁ prakṛter vaśāt
    || 8

    This says, curving back (leaning, resting-upon or avaṣṭabhya) onto my SELF (svām) I create (visṛjāmi) again and again (punaḥ punaḥ).
    All this (kṛtsnam) which exists ( manifestation and variety bhūta-grāmam) , that comes into creation (prakṛti) is done by my authority or command (vaśāt).

    This resolves any question on the origin of ‘this’ and how it comes about.
    Yet if one reads the bhāgavad gītā we are infomed that kṛṣṇa-jī shows arjuna His universal form. Said another way, ‘sure kṛṣṇa-jī you have said all this, but nothing
    beats seeing all ‘this’ with one’s own eyes
    ( in this case the inner eye)’ ; Arjuna then sees all of creation , all that there is ( His form).

    In one stoke vyāsa-viṣṇu’s teaching method is impeccable. I am going to inform you (arjuna) of the highest truth that trumps all other views and extinguishes duṣkṛtām or the ‘badly arranged, or badly organized or badly applied’ views or schools; Not only am I going to appeal to your intellect, I am also going to allow you to view this ‘wholeness’ or fullness of Being for yourself.

    This method of teaching is used today: tell them the knowledge, show them ( or apply the knowledge), then review what you told them and showed them. This is how the bhāgavad gītā could be viewed, the 1st six chapters + the middle six chapters + the last six chapters. Where does arjuna see kṛṣṇa-jī’s universal form? In the middle chapters , madhya, where pure consciousness is more easily accessed.

    For some, this view may cause some consternation. It is not meant to do so. It is just an extension of the conversation of the mahābhārata.

    iti śivaṁ


    1. tānviddhi - viddhi is ‘the act of piercing ‘, vid is to know + tān = tāt = in this way

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #27
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    Re: Symbols of the mahābhārata

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    From post 26 above,
    The significance of the middle? It is the 'gap' the in-between place, some call madhya. It is where pure awareness resides. This pure awareness = pure Being = kṛṣṇa-jī. What is found between (madhye) the breath or prāṇa ( inward, middle, outward) is niṣkala – without parts , some call the transcendent, others may call it pure awareness, this is none other than the Supreme.
    Within the mahābhārata we find the viṣṇu sahasrānam ( some too say sahasrānana or ‘thousand-faced’) offered in the anushāsanaparva (anuśāsana = instruction, direction + parvan = section or chapter ) by bhīṣma-ji to yudhiṣṭhiraḥ¹. It is a hymn in praise of viṣṇuḥ. Within 108 verses 1,000 names of viṣṇuḥ are called out …

    One of these names ( number 486 = 4+8+6 = 18 once again! See post 24 & 25 above) is gabhastinemiḥ. What does this name mean ? In general it is defined as ‘the felly of whose wheel is sharp-edged’. This no doubt is a pickle to understand let alone connect back to the notion of ‘middle’ or madhya or niṣkala – without parts. Yet with a little work we just may see the brilliance of this word suggested by bhīṣma-ji.

    • gabhasti+ nemiḥ
      • gabhasti – a ray of light
      • nemi – any circumference , ‘encircled or surrounded by’

    So the gabhastinemiḥ is name of viṣṇuḥ who is surrounded by rays of light.

    But what of this ‘the felly of whose wheel is sharp-edged’ ? Odd don’t you think? It is from ‘nemi’ which is another name of cakravartin. And what is that? It is a ruler whose wheels of His chariot roll everywhere without obstruction , sovereign of the world. Now we have viṣṇuḥ with the quality of gabhasti + nemiḥ - rays of light, the ruler whose wheels of His chariot roll everywhere, the sovereign of the world.
    But there is more…
    If we look to this term this way, gabha+ sti +nemiḥ

    • gabha – a slit , a gap
    • sti is rooted in ‘as’ which means to abide in, to dwell
    • nemi – encircled by, surrounded by


    Now we have the quality of viṣṇuḥ of He who is ‘abides’ (‘as’) in the gap (gabha) encircled or surrounded by light (gabhasti).

    What is called light is another name for consciousness . It is He that dwells ‘in between’ madhya ( middle) , in the gap of wake, dream and sleep… this ‘ in between' is always there , it is the 4th or turiya , pure awareness, Being, SELF. Thus the brilliance of bhīṣma-ji.

    iti śivaṁ

    1. The viṣṇusahasrānam is the ‘instruction’ given by bhīṣma upon a question asked of yudhiṣṭhiraḥ (one of the 5 pāṇḍava-s).
    Yudhiṣṭhiraḥ asks,
    kimekaṁ daivataṁ lōke kiṁ vāpyekaṁ parāyaṇaṁ |
    stuvaṁtaḥ kaṁ kamarcaṁtaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ śubham || 8
    kō dharmaḥ sarvadharmāṇāṁ bhavataḥ paramō mataḥ |
    kiṁ japanmucyate jaṁturjanmasaṁsārabaṁdhanāt || 9

    this says in general,
    Who in this wide world is that one God who is the only shelter?
    Who is He ( to) whom, Beings worship and pray, and get salvation ?
    Who is He who should often be worshiped with love?
    Which Dharma is so great, there is none greater?
    And which is to be often chanted to get free from these bondage of life ?
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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