Veda Dharma

Friday, December 28, 2007

Power of mantras and Samskritam

When does a language qualify to be called divine? We all know that sanskrit is called a divine language. Is it just because it is the language of Vedas? Or why are vedas recited in sanskrit only? Why cannot somebody recite vedas is telugu or english or hindi for example?
The Supreme Brahman ( a name for the formless God) is formless, eternal, all-pervading and omniscient. One cannot perceive the nature of attribute-less Brahman through senses or mind. But when the Brahman gets agitated then it gives birth to three gunas namely sattwa, rajas and tamas( goodness, activity and dullness respectively). Endowed with these three gunas the Supreme does the acts of creation, sustenance and destruction. When a sadhaka does penance for thousands of births his vasanas get purer and he starts getting closer to reaching the state of divinity. At the height of perfection, he loses himself and he becomes Brahman. But before reaching the highest perfection called nirguna samadhi, a sadhaka starts reaching the level of the Brahman with attributes. In other words, he starts experiencing divinities like Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva, who are embodiments of Brahman with attributes. Though the Brahman without attributes cannot be experienced through senses, Brahman with attributes can be experiences through senses that are highly purified. Senses are considered highly purified, when they are perfectly controlled or when they are brought to the verge of destruction(through sadhana). Though one generally thinks of experiencing something as seeing, experiencing can be done either through one or more senses. All the five main senses viz. sound, touch, form, taste and smell experience the divine through their own ways, when purified.
Thus one can experience Brahman through any of the five senses and a spiritual sadhana is nothing but a process of purifying each of these senses. Thus smelling fragrant leaves like tulasi that are offered to Lord or the incense purify the sense of smell. Similarly, touching the Lord's feet with hands and taking bath in sacred rivers and applying sandal wood paste on the forehead etc. purify the sense of touch. Similarly, seeing the form of Lord in temples through His images and seeing great saints purify the sense of sight. Similary, eating sattwic food in limited quantities at appropriate times after offering it to Lord purifies the sense of taste. Similarly, reciting sacred mantras or mystic chants continuously or singing the glories of the Lord purify the sense of sound. In order to achieve this perfect control of senses, Vaidika dharma has designed a way of ritualistic worship that achieves all these results at the same time. When the mind also gets controlled along with its companion senses through meditation on the Lord and worship of the Lord, liberation can be attained.
But one can ask the question: "What is the link between above mentioned activities and purification of senses?" . When the senses are engaged in activities that correspond to the sattwa aspect of Brahman they get pure as only the Supreme can purify anything. No other activity can purify senses. Hence, the set of activities are designed in such a way that they imitate the experience of Brahman. So one is asked to see the form of Lord whom one sees after getting liberated. One is asked to smell the fragrances that one can smell when experiences the Supreme and so on. Similarly, one is asked to recite the sounds that one uses to experience Brahman. Only such set of activities can be together called the "Samskrita dharma" and the sound portion of this dharma is called "Samskrita bhasha" or "Sanskrit language".
Hence a language can be called divine only when the words in that language correspond to the form of Brahman that they address. For example, a language can called divine, if the word "Rudra" is used to denote the destroyer and meditation on the word "Rudra" will result in perceiving the form of Rudra. Essentially we are saying that reciting any word should result in realizing the form denoted by the meaning of that word. Only such a grammar can be termed "Divine". Sanskrit is the only such language in the Universe, which has this feature. This has become possible only because it emanated from the Supreme Lord Himself.
One who understands this immediately realizes that every word in the Sanskrit language is a mantra and will give the realization of the object denoted by the word. At a higher level of yoga, sages do not need mantras anymore as every letter itself is a combination of purusha and prakriti. Sukshma meditation ( avery high form of meditation) is based on this. Eternal meditation also has its roots in the same.
So when somebody says "Sri", the beeja of the divine mother, it bestows on one the experience of Divine Mother. This experience manifests itself in three levels: At the physical level the sadhaka starts benefitting by getting wealth, education, fame etc. At the mental level the sadhaka is bestowed with "Mental wealth" in terms of bhakti, noble thoughts etc. At the atmic level, the sadhaka becomes rich by getting rid of all bondage and finally gets moksha. But most of us associate the "Sri" beeja only with the physical results, which are only a minute fraction of the whole.

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