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Dr K K Aggarwal

The Vedic meaning of Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Any activity should always engage the 3 H model of Heart, the Head, and the Hand. The same has been advocated by the western scholars of today. The concept is that while doing any work one should ask the head for choices and then refer these choices to the heart to choose one and finally order the hands to carry out that action.

In his book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’, Deepak Chopra writes that conscious–based decisions are the best decisions. Before taking any decision he recommends asking the body for signals of comfort or discomfort and if the signals of discomfort are perceived, then one should not carry out that action.

All the above concepts come from our ancient Vedic knowledge. The two main mantras of our times are the Mahamritunjaya Mantra and the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mahamritunjaya Mantra is from the Rig Veda and needs initiation for attaining any Siddhi. This is the greatest reliever from all evils and reads as under: Aum Trayambakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam; Uruva Rukamiva Bandhanan, Mrityor Mokshiye Mamritat. It means we worship Shiva, the Three–Eyed Lord; who is fragrant and nourishes all beings; May he protect us (bandhanana) from all big (urva) diseases (aarookam). May he liberate us (mokshiye) from death (mrityor), For the sake of immortality (mamritat, amrit); as the cucumber is automatically liberated, from its bondage from the creeper when it fully ripens. The meaning of the mantra is the importance of the third eye and the benefits of its opening. The two eyes are at the level of the physical body. The third eye means the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the soul. It also indicates that in difficulty one should look inward from the eyes of the mind and ask for the choices. Like the cucumber, one should chose the good ones and drop the bad choices (Jo achcha lage use apna lo, jo bura lage use jane do).

The mantra for the conscious–based decision comes from Gayatri mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvasvaha Thath Savithur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath. It means we meditate on the glory of the Creator; who has created the Universe; who is worthy of Worship; who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light; who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance; may He enlighten our Intellect.

It talks about the importance of conscious–based decisions and its directions to the intellect to choose the right and not the convenient actions. The Gayatri is the Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect. Gayatri is considered as Vedasara –– “the essence of the Vedas.” Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge–yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or ‘core–declarations’ enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.

Choosing the right decision from the consciousness was later defined by Buddha. He taught that before any action ask yourself the following four questions and if the answer to any of the question is no, not to indulge in that actions. These four questions are: is it the truth, is it necessary, will the actions bring happiness to you and to the others.

What are three great sentences of importance other than Mahavakyas?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah: Brahman only exists truly, the world is false, and the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.
Ekam Evadvitiyam Brahma: Brahman is one, without a second (There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts)
Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma: All of this is Brahman

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Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah: Brahman only exists truly, the world is false, and the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.
Ekam Evadvitiyam Brahma: Brahman is one, without a second (There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts)
Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma: All of this is Brahman

What are three great sentences of importance other than mahavakyas?

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1.Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah means – Brahman only exists truly, the world is false, and the individual soul is Brahman only and no other.

2.Ekam evadvitiyam brahma means Brahman is one, without a second (There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts)

3.Sarvam khalvidam brahma means all of this is brahman

Vedanta unequivocally, uncompromisingly and systematically reveals that there is one non-dual Truth in this universe, and basically everyone and everything is part of that and that alone.

This eternal, timeless truth is of the nature of blissful, self-effulgent existence. It is the very Life principle. This divinity, which is therein called as Brahman, has an inexplicable and indefinable power called Maya because of which, this one truth manifests in different ways.

The multiplicity we see all over is just the manifestation of Brahman in different forms. As each form is unique, so we have different names for them. But the essence of all names and forms is one and one alone.

 I am that and you too are that. To realize this limitless, non-dual truth of myself is the real Goal of human life. That alone is the door to freedom and complete fulfillment – Moksha.

The basic principles can be summarized as:

1.         The Brahman exists

2.         The Brahman is one

3.         You are Brahman

4.         I am Brahman

 Brahman is synonymous with God or consciousness.

 The basic teachings of the Upanishads are called Mahavakyas. The Mahavakyas are the Great Sentences of Vedanta and are contained in the Upanishads. Maha is Great, and Vakyas are sentences or utterances for contemplation.

There are four special sentences in Upanishads that reveal the nature of Atman (self) and Brahman and those are called ‘Mahavakyas’ or ‘great sentences:’ Each approach Brahman from a different perspective while addressing the non-differentiation of Atman and Brahman. One each comes from each Veda. These are classified in order of the origin of the Vedas.

  • The first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which tells us that Consciousness, is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma). It is called a ‘Lakshana vakya’ meaning ‘defining sentence’, because it defines Brahman in terms of Consciousness.
  • The second Mahavakya, from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in Yajur Veda, tells us that each of us is Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi). It is called ‘Anubhava vakya’ as only through experience can we gain understanding of our true nature.
  • The third Maha Vakya, from Chandogya Upanishad in Sama Veda, is ‘Tat-tvam-asi.’ It is not just that I am Brahman, you are Brahman and the entire substratum of this world is also Brahman. This is called ‘Upadesha Vakya’ or sentence that is taught by teachers (Gurus) to their disciples to prevent arrogance and develop respect and compassion for others.
  • Finally, the fourth Maha Vakya, from Mundaka Upanishad (Atharva Veda) is ‘Ayamatma Brahma’ meaning ‘This Atman is Brahman.’ Since this sentence reveals the non-dualistic nature of atman and Brahman and keeps us connected with the larger reality, it is called ‘Anusandhana Vakya.’

There are three stages of spiritual life:

1.                  Dwaitha or dualism

2.                  Visishtadhwaitha (qualified non-dualism)

3.                  Adhwaitha (non-dualism).

A man passes through all these. In the first stage, God and men are separate, and then man realizes he is God but still the two persists. Then he realizes that others are God (you are God) and still the two persists by and only finally the man realizes that there is only God and there is no I and you (this is what is meant saying that atman and Brahman are same).