Gayatri Upasana and Yoga, part 2
GAYATRI UPASANA AND YOGA
Article from "Four Essays in Suddha Raja Yoga" - Published by Sri Janardana, The Third initiatory Authority of Suddha Dharma Mandalam
Thus two main divisions characterize Gayatri Vidya, and they are:
· Tatwa vidya
The former is the explanatory feature in regard to the various manifestations in and of the world-process known as "Samsara"; while the latter constitutes certain formulae in which are condensed all the explanations of Tatwa-vidya, a proper and careful intonation of which enables the factual realization of those explanations, and as such it is vibratory in effect, in that, it shakes away, the ignorance inherent in the human- atomic constitution. The darkness known as ignorance is due to the original stunning effect caused by the sudden release of the splendorous Light of the creational energy through the power of Maya - 'Mayaya apahrita gnana’, which causes the created beings to revolve in the wheel of Samsara as though dazed - brahmyan. saravabhootani yantraroodani mayaya; and as such darkness may be stated to be light itself tuned up, to the highest vibrant velocity. It follows, therefore, that when this high velocity is stilled, the stunning power lessens; and with it, darkness evaporates yielding place to that much necessary light with which one can see. It is to affect this quieting influence in the mind, wherein, the full force of the revolution is seen, that the Gayatri formulae help. There are any numbers of these formulae suitable to the various systems of human organism in accordance with the plans in which the said organism functions in a given time, and hence the Shrutis dictum anantavihi gayatriyaha - Gayatri are innumerable. We shall revert to a further treatment under this head again after a brief explanation of Tatwa-vidya.
Tatwa-Vidya is also otherwise known as Samsara-Vidya. Samsara is that condition in which there is a full play of the innumerable forces released by the creational urge in the never knowable Brahm. Bahusyam prajayeyeti - let me become many - is that urge in the yogic condition of Brahm with its own Shakti. Generally Shakti or power and the one who owns it can never be separated so long the owner holds it. With Brahm, its Shakti never gets separated at any time and their Yoga is eternal, and hence the non-differentiated view that Brahm and Brahm-Shakti are identical. The projection of the Jagat, sustaining it for a while, and withdrawing it - srishti, stiti, and samahar are carried out by this Shakti of Brahm. Every individual being, representing the Brahma swabhava - Brahmic nature, consequently, is so endowed with this Shakti, which takes infinite forms, In recognizing this Shakti as the terminus of Samsara lies the secret of salvation, which is attained by surrendering to and seeking Her divine grace - Mamekam saranam vraja – Mam, implying -Brahm-Shakti and Ekam referring to Brahma The feminine role with which Shakti is associated is due to its capacity to attract, to receive, to transform, and to project into various forms the one seed which is Brahm, and also to control and protect that which is so projected. This power, however, in the lower levels gets itself modified into a crystallized material, suitable for the mechanical projection of forms of blind forces, when she is known as Prakriti – a neuter condition. In this prakritic field capable of being manipulated into desired shapes, the play of Brahm and its Shakti is at its highest, producing infinite forms and states without their loosing their own intrinsic nature at any time. A process, which is thus variously graded and is eternal, is known as Samsara. And every individual being represents it
This Samsara, as a whole, which has its source above and eternal, is 1ikened to the Aswatta-tree – Ficus Religiosa with its root above and branches below -0ordwa moolam atah sakham samsaraha. In the lower prakritic-conditions of Samsara the forces operate blindly and impulsively because of the dominating influence of I-ness therein which is the subtlest Prakriti force that stresses the limited importance of personality and its will, ever maintaining the state of separativeness and oblivious to and thereby hindering the free flow of the Divine will in Yoga. Some definite laws known as Dharmas, regulating the operation of the forces, govern Samsara, which has Yoga, at its top. Union or Yoga is the highest aim of these Dharmas, which involve their (Dharmas) close observance in the lower levels without being subject to the influences of Prakriti. The Dharmas that operates in the lower levels fall into threefold group of Gnana, Iccha and Kriya; Knowledge, Desire and Action, collectively called Sankhya. Thus these four factors Gnana, Iccha, Kriya and Yoga are together known as Gayatri Cahatushpada – Gayatri with four feet, each foot having six digits, each digit representing a dharma, and thus we have the well-known twenty-four Dharmas of Gayatri (See Gita S.D.M, from second to 25th chapter for the names of these Dharmas. Gayatri, however, is one footed, or two or three in accordance with its reference to any one of the Gnana, Iccha, or Karma especial treatments, when it is declared to be incomplete. It is Yoga that gives the stamp and seal of fullness, and hence the importance of Gayatri –chatushpada, in the manifested universe which is but a fourth part of the infinity - padosya viswabhootani, vishtabyaham idam kristam, the influence of this Gayatri is complete.
Prakriti, the seed-bed of samsaric life of Brahm and its Shakti has likewise various states, mainly two-fold – Sthoola and Sookshma – Gross and Subtle. The ‘Sthoola’ consists of the Para - Higher, and Apara – Lower, aspects. The eight fold Prakriti are the Apara, and they are: Bhoomi (earth), Ap (water), anala (fire), Vayu (air), Kham (ether), Manas (mind – emotion), Buddhi (intellect), and Ahamkara (I-ness). The Para or the higher is the Jivaboota, the life-giving source for the Apara, and is known as Avyakta (Inseparable). The inseparable condition, herein, is Yogic, in that Brahm as Atman, Shakti, and Prakriti is in a state of eternal unity. Hence Para-Prakriti is, sometimes, otherwise termed as Atma itself – Yo buddhe paratastu saha – Higher than buddhi is He (Atman) in the Avyakta pane. The twenty-four principles that go to the building of the Cosmos, known as Gayatri principles are merely multiples of this Para and Apara-Prakriti. In Man, these principles are organized into a four-fold group – Indriyas (senses), Manas (mind-emotion), Mahat (intellect) and Avyakta (Yogic), otherwise also as five fold koshas (sheaths) viz. Annamaya (physical body), Pranamaya (Astral) Manomaya (mind-emotion body), Vignanamaya (knowledge), and Anandamaya (Bliss). Secondly, the “Sookshma” or the subtle aspect of Prakriti manifests in the human body as a result of the play of Atma and Shakti on it, and known as Gunas or qualities, which are Satwa (intelligence), Rajas (activity), Tamas (darkness), and Suddha or Sama (equipoise).
The primary or the first yogic condition is that when the Consciousness is able to function in Avyakta-plane with Suddhaguna Samatwam yoga uchyate . As the Yoga advances, it reaches the highest level wherein Brahm and its Shakti alone abide transcending all prakritic planes – prakrititeparam.
Tatwa-vidya thus consists in the study of these factors in their details and in applying them to practice in every day life. It is in reference to this Gayatri-vidya that, the Lord in the Gita stresses, when He declares "tatwato gnatwa tatwataha" etc., in as many as eleven places in it.
Mantraatmika aspect of Gayatri was already stated to be vibratory. This vibratory condition is created to awaken the Consciousness or the life principle, which is Atma, from its dazed condition, revolving in the wheel of Samsara and tasting its fruits. Sound is the only power to create, the necessary vibration to rescue it since the Life Principe or Atman which is of the form of chit or Consciousness is clothed in the atomic body of Akasha or ether whose quality is sound and is Vishnu, the all-pervasive – Atma Akasha dehasyat chitroopaha Vishnuravyayaha – The reason, why sound-effects or the spoken word and the like have a great influence on people in general should be thus obvious. The formulas of Gayatri are intended to create a similar effect, The potencies of these formulas as such are enhanced when, in association with each one of them is added a single seed-letter known as Ekakshara while intoning it; since it (Ekakshara) is said to represent the nature of the particular individual soul and to which sound alone, the soul responds. In the same way OM is the Ekakshara of Brahm, every individual Brahm Atman has its own single bound-letter. These Ekaksharas are graphically described to shoot out in the form of 'swaras' (sound, intonation, musical note) from the drum of Lord Shiva - Sivatakka Samamnaya pravanihi, which the advanced Yogis observe during their meditations, and gather, to confer them on those that are in the path, in accordance with their suitability, to accelerate their development. The extraordinary powers released consequent on the intonation of these formulae with Ekaksharas are such that they are held extremely secret and are imparted discriminatingly with an eye to the disciples’ welfare. The Lord’s dictum that people should not be disturbed in their smug ignorance – na buddhi bedam janayat ajnaninam is not so much with reference to the imparting of Tatwa Vidya, as it is with the disclosure of these Gayatri formulas, although in many cases even ordinary knowledge is seen perverted, letting alone the truth of Tatwa-vidya, and thus made to sub serve man's nefarious ends, due to the inherent nature of "karpanyadosha" Selfishness, with which man is obsessed.
Such Upasana or worship of Gayatri is not intended only for us. Even those that are very high in the order of evolution viz., the Yogis, Rishis, Siddhas, and Mahatmas have their own methods of Gayatri-Upasana. Even the Trimoorties (Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu) are not free from such worship. Brahma-Shakti, the final refuge of Samsara, is higher, than the trimoortic level, and it is from this Great source that they derive their respective powers for the governance o the Cosmos according to their allotted function and the necessary powers are got only by worshipping Her.
The importance of Gayatri as such, not only to Yoga but also to every day life being is thus obvious, it can be very well seen what a pusillanimous claim it is that arrogates that to tread the path of Yoga, Gayatri is unnecessary.
Generally, the imparting of Yoga-Gayatri is done to such of those who are capable to intone it properly. Even though one is lucky to receive it, it is only a mastery of Tatwa vidya that augments its efficacy. It is declared that this mastery constitutes in itself an act of receiving the power to function in the world – Shaktisweekara. Three auxiliaries go to increase this Shakti. They are: a) Yagna, which is the performance of acts dedicated to the Divine b) Adhyayana or the study of Tatwa-vidya, a full and complete exposition thereof is Srimad Bhagavad Gita, a correct text of which is the one published by S.D.M (c) Dana, or the act of surrender of the individual soul to the Universal Soul. Secondly the discriminating knowledge and intelligence one develops through charcha or enquiry in the course of one's sojourn in the world, after receiving the said Shakti is termed, Tapas or austerity. Finally, when one completes the duties that may fall to one's lot in Samsara the Sadhaka approaches the Guru - Gnaninaha Tatwadarsinaha – (Such Gurus are very rare now among us) to acquire a working knowledge in the Tatwas – inner planes of being and receives from the Guru further installments of Yoga beejas and Gayatris as aids. In the fullness of time the disciple through the blessing of his Guru learns to raise his Consciousness to transcendental levels, and function there independently, and at last reaches the height of eternal Brahmic approximation – Sameepya Mukti the highest in that category. This is known as Brahma Prapti or attainment - they Fifth Purushartha that the Gita teaches
In this Kali Yuga, the imparting of Yoga Gayatri to any and every one, and at any time of ones life, provided that one is able to intone properly is permitted due to the divine grace of Bhagavan Sri Narayana at Badari, the Adhishtata of Suddha Dharma Mandalam, who had declared the greatness of this Yuga, and the competency of every one to tread the path of Yoga. It is to personally see to the fulfillment of this declaration and raise the human level to greater heights that He has incarnated as Bhagavan Sri Mitra Deva whose public appearance is expected to take place any time, subject to His great will.
Sri Janardana - Suddha Dharma's Director and Third initiatory Authority.