Suddha Dharma Mandalam
IN PROFOUND REVERENCE TO THE GREAT HIERARCHY OF THE SUDDHA DHARMA MANDALAM
SUBHAMASTU SARVA YAGATAM
Sanatana Dharma Sootras
BHAGAVAN SRI NARAYANA.
The question is what is Sanatana Dharma? The answer thereto is the “Dharma Sootras” graciously revealed by the lord of Badari, published herein. Sanatana Dharma means eternal way of life untrammeled and unconditioned by any of those limiting agencies Guna and Karma, known as time, place and personality. Dharma is not law of life, it means way of life. Law suggests something superimposed, whereas “way” connotes that mysterious source of life, having its springs in one’s own being – heart. Life, according to the dictates of one’s own heart, has, prima facie, self-protection as the dominant motive.
Hence, Dharma which is the first one of the four cardinal aims of man – purushartha – is defined by the gracious “Dharmasasta” as being “rakshakatwa” protector ship. Such protection obviously has to include others in addition to self, to make it complete. How is this done? Sanatana Dharma Sootras, herein, instructs us this how of it.
These Dharma Sootras are quoted by Sri Hamsa Yogi, the teacher of Suddha Dharma truths, in the “Dasadhyaya” of Sanatana Dharma Deepika, the text book of Suddhas. The universality of the teachings embodied in these Sootras is such that it can hardly be missed by any earnest student of life, let alone its importance to those that have chosen to take up to Suddha Dharma way of thought. For in proportion to the assimilation of this knowledge by one, and its application in life, lies the augmenting of one’s own capacity to reach the heights of “Brahma-sameepya” - proximity to Brahm, with its ever present adjuncts of spiritual and material well being in this very world process, as has been graciously taught by the lord in the body of these Sootras. There is no need to further emphasis its great importance.
To say that this knowledge of Sanatana Dharma pertaining to the eternities of cosmic verities is revealed as such, to the humanity at large and for the first time, is not to make any kind of claim whatsoever but a bare statement of fact, which should be recognized by true students. And to add, that a direct and easy teaching of this great and difficult subject, at the understanding level of the veriest tyro (novice), is the possible privilege of Ishwara only, is to posit that it is beyond the powers of any one less in rank. That is the reason why, in the great land of Dharma, although Sanatana Dharma is eulogized, there was ever a fighting shy of it, since what Sanatana Dharma actually is, had ever been a problem even in the highest yogic circles; as it is well instanced in this present exposition by the lord. That difficulty is got over here.
We can dismiss the claim of what passes as Varnashram Dharma or the rules of caste to Sanatana Dharma as of no consequence. For the matter of that, all Dharmas which constitute ‘Lokayatravidana’ – methods of soul’s travel in world life, are aspects of Sanatana Dharma in one form or another. And so is Varnashama Dharma. Witness its complete shake up from its very tap root before our immediate eyes, to falsify its claim to Sanatana. For, if it had been so, the Lord would have manifested Himself, even according to his declaration, to uphold this tumbling order.
On the other hand, we see about us a release of forces that seem to hasten its complete erasement. But this does not mean to depricate Varnashama-Dharma-Order in any way. Its efficiency in the ages that went by had been very great, surely. Not only because that the high complexities involved in the observance of this Dharma, being held not possible with the present characteristics of human beings, it is held as productive of no good to the people of this Yuga. Reference to this aspect of the question by those interested may be made to the “Dharmadhyaya” of Sanatana Dharma Deepika, wherein; the Ishwara gives an exposition thereon. With this small introduction, let us get into the subject proper.
- Yevameva bhagavan kasyapaydhikarinae mahasiddhaya dharmasootramidam provacha Narayanaha.
- Thus in the following manner, did (Bhagavan) Narayana expond the dharma Sootras to the Adhikari Kasyapa, the Maha Siddha.
“Dharma Sootras” refer to Sanatana Dharma. “Sootras” are cryptic aphorisms generally ununderstandable by themselves, except through elucidating explanations. Unlike such of them, the clarity of these “Sootras” by themselves on such a topic as Sanatana Dharma, beyond which there is no higher subject, without the slightest vagueness in its treatment, implements its origin from a level which is nothing short of the very Divinity itself. That Divinity is hailed by all as Bhagavan Narayana, abiding in his own form, made up of brilliant material particles of what is known as “Devi-Prakriti”, in the Uttara-Badari region of the Himalayas. And this teaching by the lord was given to the “Adhikarai” i.e. an office bearer in the divine scheme of cosmic governance, known as Kasyapa, who had risen to the status of a Maha-Siddha.
According to Suddha-Tatwa, Paramatma or Paramesechwara or Sarveshawara, the one lord of all, is said to assume the roles of Teachership and also of Rulership in respect of his creation. In the role of teacher – Maha-guru - this Ishwara is known by various names as Nara-Narayana, Kumara and Dakshinamoorty; whereas, in the role of Ruler He is hailed as Maha-Brahma, Maha-Vishnu, and Maheswara. All these names represent the “adhikara” or authority, wielded by each and hence these Moorties are called “Adhikaris”. In respect of creation etc. of particular Brahmandas consisting of different lokas over which their “drishti” or overseeing extends, they constitute final authorities. As teachers, these Lords who are Paramatmic in their nature lead the created beings from their state of “upakranna” to that of “upsamahara”, that is, from the path of evolutionary life in the samsaric world-process, to that of return therefrom. The direction and teachings in respect of these acts is known as the “adhiraka” of “Niyantrutwa” – leading. Similarly, Rulership is involved in the promulgation of dharmas – “Shastrutwa”, that are to be followed by the created beings in a given period of time in respect of the material aspect of life of external relationship. In the Nara-Narayana Dharma Gita, Chapter the second, of Sir Bhagavad Gita of Suddha Dharma Mandalam, knowledge on this head is revealed by Sri Krishna.
These Trimoorties, who constitute the Trinity in respect of their functioning – and their are any number of such Trimoorties fulfilling their self-allotted roles, are said to be known as “ Mahadhikaris”, of the type endowed with “Visehalakshana”, which may be termed as special prerogative. This special prerogative is in regard to “Shastrutwa” and “Niyantrutwa” mentioned above, and which could not be obviously exercised in their excellence by any one else less in rank. As regards the term “Mahadhikari” the prefix “Maha” is intended to convey the idea of the teachership and rulership extending over a jurisdiction of seven Brahmandas in a period of time. All these three, however, do not have their sway over an identical group of seven Brahmandas. As it is instanced, the group of seven Brahmandas over which Maha-Brahma presides is named “Sat” Mandalam and of which Kumara is the Teacher. Likewise, Maha-Siva exercises his authority over the group of Brahmandas known as “Ananda” Mandalam and Dakshinamoorty fulfills the role of Teacher therein. Thus, it is because these Trimoorties exercise their ocular superintendence – “drishti” in full, over a sphere a seven Brahmandas They are known as “Mahadhikaris” unlike the other ordinary “adhikaris”, whose area of authority is limited.
Sat-Chi-Ananda, then, are the names of the three Mandalams in which the Trimoorties respectively reside exercising their complete authority. These three Mandalams together are said to be known as “Apara-Brahma-Swaroopa”-- a term intended to convey the knowledge, that the ultimate Brahm in its phase of “Apara” or the lower, is primarily a three-fold world phase, known as Sat-Chit-Ananda. Whereas in its “Para” or the highest phase, Suddha Brahm or Para-Brahm is unitary and it is said to be known by the name of Suddha Dharma Mandalam. This is a wholeness, a completeness, over which presides Yoga-Narayana ever in association with Yoga-Devi, also called Yoga-Shakti or Yoga-Maya. Is direct lieutenants are said to be known by the names of Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradhyumna and Sankharshana, the divine functioning of whom in the subjective spheres of life is clearly taught in the Nara-Narayana Dharma Gita, referred to, already.
In these vast cosmic world-processness, that are set afoot in virtue, of that far famed “Sankhalpa” or will of that ever-mysterious Brahm, formulated as “Ekoham, bhahusyam prajayae yaeti” - I am one, let me become many, and which had been the subject and object of our eternal quest, we, the human beings, are said to be undergoing our evolutionary course of life in that seven group of Brahmandas known as “Chit” Mandalam and of which Maha-Vishnu is the Ruler and Nara-Narayana Rishi is the Teacher. Each one of these tree Mandalams have four varieties of stated termed athoola, sookshma karma and turiya or in other words, gross, subtle, causal and the fourth, respectively, each of which infold the seven Brahmandas stated above. The names of the seven Brahmandas are Bhoo, Bhuvar, Suvar, Mahar, Jana, Tapa and Satyam. There are each other correspondences in respect of these Lokas and since they are to be the subject of a special study, they are not dealt with, here. The Brahmanda in which we, the human beings are evolving in terms of birth and death, is said to be termed by the name of Bhoo-loka.
Each one of these seven worlds is under the rulership of an “Adhikari”, who combines in himself the role of a teacher also. Thus Bhoo-Loka is under the rule of Devapi, who is ordained by the Ishwara to propagate Suddha Vidya; Subramania governs Bhuvar-Loksa, endowed, with the office of purification and imparting Suddha Tattwa; Suvar Loka’s domain is covered by Kaladeva who is given the powers of destroying those that oppose Suddha Yoga Brahma Vidya; Similarly, Bhagavan Chandabanu rules over Maha-Loka, always engaged in examining the course that yoga Brahma Vidya takes in its functioning; Kasiapa, the ruler of Jano-Loka leads the Yogacharias propagating Yoga Brahma Vidya according to time and place,Vamadeva governs Tapo-Loka while Narada is the Gnanacharia with its rulership of Satya-Loka. All these are known as “Mahasiddhas”, the prefix “Maha” even as in a case of Trimoorties, is to bring out the difference in status between them and others ordinarily named “Siddhas”, who belong to the aspirants class of a four fold variety- Yogi, Rishi, Siddha, Mahatma. It maybe mentioned in this connection that the class of aspirants, also four fold, but less in rank is known by the names of Dasa, Theertha, Brahma, and Ananda. Humanity in general, is deemed to belong to the class of Dasas – Dasavarga.
Each of those “Maha-Siddhas” is assisted by eighteen secretaries, who, in their turn, have countless office-bearers under them, teaching this Science and conferring Deeksharas or initiations. These secretaries together are known by the name “ Jathas”. There are alos known by the names of “Mahadbhavas” and “Manas” engaged in this great Divine work. The General Secretary of all is Nara Deva, who is the spokesman of humanity and Sri Yoga Devi occupies a similar place, as the direct executrix of the Divine will. Over them all abides Yoga Narayana, as the Ishwara.
The subject of cosmology according to Suddha Dharma Mandalam, in respect of the Worlds, their Rulers, their functioning, and other various factors constitute a special study in itself and here quite a fringe is touched with a view to awaken interest in the subject. In the Adhikara Gita of Sri Bhagadav-Gita S. D. M. the Lord touches the subject in the sloka “Maharshaya spata poorvaechatvaro manavsatata madadbhava, manasa jata aesham loka imaha prajaha”. The meanings of terms “Mahadbhava”, “Manasa” and “Jata” in this sloka, as conveying the names of groups “Adhikarapurushas” should be eye opener.
Accordingly, it may be seen, that the Adhikari, Kasyapa, the Maha-Siddha, to who these Sootras are imparted is no other that the big Ruler of Jano-Loka, mentionned above. Since the rulership of the worlds primarily consists in administering the principles of Sanatana Dharma, the enunciation of what those principles of this mysterious Dharma are, is the exclusive prerogative of the Divinity, being unknown to others. These Maha-Siddhas, learning them, impart them to those lieutenants under their fold and so in their turn, and thus the principles get into the sphere of actual application in actioning.
Bhagavan Narayana, then, as it should be clear by now is Nara-Narayana Rishi, referred to herein. His being denominated “Rishi” is to convey the idea that his teachings are implanted in actual actioning. In the Mahabharata, frequent references are made in regard to the penance in which the lord is engaged, be residing in that part of the Himalayas already stated as “Uttara-Badari”, and waited on by innumerable “adhikarapurushas’ and aspirants. From the Suddha literature we also learn, that it is out of his aspect that the famous Ten Avataras emanated during epochal times. Being the “Dharmasasta” for the Yugas, He reorganized Suddha Dharma Mandalam, the Spiritual Hierarchy with its present constitution and tenets, about 7000 years before the actual advent of this Kali Yuga on a Vaishaka Suddha Pournima day. He decreed that Suddha Dharma is to be the Ruling Dharma for the people in this Yuga, to lead humanity from its “Upakrama” course to that of “Upasamhara” in this samsaric life. The teaching embodied in the Gita is an anticipation of the teachings of Suddha Dharma, about a thousand years previous to the actual inauguration of this Mandalam. Since this Yuga marks the last period of a course of four-yuga, evolution of human beings, the quickening of this course with ultimate attainment is given out to result by observing the principles of Suddha Dharma and hence its present public release. This Dharma, which is imparted more than twelve centuries ago by the Divine Narayana in his gracious mercy for the benefit of humanity, has taken this period of time to pass through the graded different types of adhirakis, to reach of humanity, as it did now.
What is known as Suddha Dharma or Yoga Brahma Vidya that applied Sanatana Dharma, the subtle nature of which being unknown even to the Adhikaris of the Maha Siddha Type, the Maha-Guru Bhagavan Narayana the representative of Brahman, instructs these Hierarchs, and this, He does, herein. By teaching the Adhikari Kasyapa the Maha-Siddha and the Ruler of Jano-Loka, commencing with an elucidation of the nature of Para-Brahmam to start with in the next Sootra.
2. Brahmani cha parasmin bhavabhavow nirgunasagunow, steepurashow suddhasuddhow ekanaekaroopow mayamyinow prakriti-purushow karyakaranabhootow anandasukhaduhkhow suddhapunya papaphalow sanatana nivritipavriti dharmow atmanatmanamanow swabhavow sanatanow bhavataha.
2. In ParaBrahman there abide naturally and eternally these characteristics: Changelessness and Changefulness (Bhavabhavow), Non-Qualitative and Qualitative (nirgunasagunow), Feminine and Mamsculine (Streepurushow), One and Many forms (Ekanaekaroopow), Power and its Projector (Mayamayinow), Matter and Spirit-forms (Prakritipurusharoopow), basic Cause and effect (Karyakaranabhootow), Happiness, Pleasure and pain (Ananada Sukhamduhkow), Fruits of Purity and those of merit and sin (Suddha punya papa phalow), Laws pertaining to the external and those of evolution and involution (Sanatana pravriti nivriti dharmow), the Nomenclature – Self and the Not self (Atmanatma namanow)ES
That the very nature of Para-Brahmam is characterized by a dual nature as catalogued herein with its feature of antithesis should be obvious. But, what should be most striking in this grouping of opposites is the setting off of Ananda – Happiness, against Pleasure and Pain (Sukha and Duhkha), of the fruits of purity (Suddha), against Merit and Sin (Punya and Papa), and of the Eternal Law (Sanatana Dharma) against those of evolution and Involution (Pravritti Nivritti dharmow). In these three groups one characteristic is opposed to a pair. And barring these three, the rest is only of one against the other. Each one of these groups would in itself form the subject matter of a searching philosophical exposition and in fact we have with us any number of such treatments. But of these, we are not concerned here, since our present subject matter is Sanatana Dharma in its genesis. Our attention, therefore, to the basic two-fold nature of Para-Brahm to which Sanatana Dharma is associated is what is necessary. And hence it is obviously, this cataloging of the dual nature of Brahm, by the Lord, to start with.
To us in this great land of Aryavarta, it is not unknown that Para-Brham had ever been, not only the subject matter of high level discussions, but also of deep spiritual quest, from time immemorial, the fervor of which with true aspirants, even now in spite of modern distracting influences, can never be decmed as having abated. The profuse output of what are termed spiritual and religious literature as the Vedas, Upanishads, Brahma Sootras Bhagavad Gita, not to leave a mention of the various Utihasas and Puranas, et-hoc, bear ample testimony to the vast amount of energy and intelligence devoted in this direction. These are with a view, not only to determine the nature of this mysterious entity that is hailed as Brahm, but also to draw up a program of activities to realize factfully the theories that were sponsored, on this presumed datum-level that there is nothing higher. The modern trend has taken two curious directions. We need not to get into the game of arguments urged both for and against this theory, but the ultimate conclusion arrived at, is compelling, in that, whatever direction we will, whether it be in the realms of thought, word or deed or higher than these three, whether it be in the sphere of matter or in that of spirit, etc., in the endless and complex ramifications of life‘s presentation, we are assured of its presence. Being also beyond the sphere of concepts, the great Brihataranyaka Upanishad could declare it to be just ‘Neti-Neti – Not this, Not this’, a complete silence, the attribute of negation. Obviously then, what is termed knowledge of Bhram-Brahmaguana, cannot be in reference to this non-conceptible negation. Brahm, the name gives the possibility to the concept, and with a positive feature, for the operation of knowledge in the spheres of subjects and object. Hence arises the postulate of Mahavakyas – the great saying. ‘Sarvam Kalvidam Brahma’, - all this is Brahm; ‘Sarvam Brahma swabhavajam - - all is the nature of Brahm; ‘Sarvam avasyakam’ – all is necessity. The three Mahavakyas, constitute the basic ones for the knowledge of Brahm in its completeness as it is taught in the Suddha literature. The monosyllable OM implements it, and also in term of Om: Tat: Sat:
Brahm is said to have two prima facie aspects – Para and Apara – the higher and the lower. Para is the ‘Neti-Net’ aspect; the ‘Apara’ consists of these dual characteristics set forth, which are, in fact, said to be of the very nature ‘Swathara’ of Para Brahm, this term implying the Transcendence, Immanence and presence of Brahm for ever, the sound and significance of which, forming the wharp and whoof of the world process. We shall now proceed to the next Sootra.