Sunday, June 1, 2014

Notes on 'Jana-Gana-Mana-Adhinayaka' and 'Vande Mataram'

When Tagore arrived on the scene, Rishi Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay remarked that he (Bankim) is the setting sun; and, Tagore is the sun now rising.

BG 10.21: || jyotisam ravir amsuman || ~ "of radiance I am the radiant sun" (ravir amsuman). In other words: personification/manifestation or embodiment of the sun (the majestic, effulgent Sun-god). In this verse, Krishna is perhaps also referring to the Summer Solstice (Sanskrit: Dakshinayana - June 21 or 22.) ~ On this day even Druids celebrate. [Vaidyanatha or Dhanvantari = a problem solver, a change maker, solution-provider or path-finder. Vasudeva Dhanvantari holds the metaphoric pot of 'amrit' (pijush or piyush).]

BG 10.35: || gāyatrī chandasām aham || ~ "I am Gayatri mantra among the Vedic mantras." (Also known as Savitr Mantra).

Savitr = the Sun-god.

Savitri = the goddess of dawn - who dispels the fog of ignorance and confusion, and lights the diya or lamp of Eternal Knowledge (non-transient knowledge) - i.e. the wisdom of knowledge or the light of wisdom). In other words: illusions disappear and clarity begins; the ability to see the larger picture/canvas, transcend egocentricity, and find the deeper meaning inherent in all things. Devi SarasvatI is Savitri - the goddess of dawn, the personification/manifestation or embodiment of the sun (the majestic, effulgent Sun-god).

The correct Vedic pronunciation is 'Sarasvati', though many pronounce it as 'Saraswati'. The Sanskrit word sara means essence and sva means self. Thus, Sarasvati denotes the essence of the self (possibly *atmavidya or "knowledge of the Self"). She is also known as 'Veena-pustak dharini' or bearer of the musical instrument (veena) and a book (pustak). It is believed that Devi SarasvatI endows humans with the powers of fine speech/vāk (persuasive powers, elegance), wisdom and learning. Her symbolic four hands represent four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and self. She plays the music of compassion, wisdom, assimilation, love and life on a string instrument called the Veena. | *Before knowing God, it is important to know oneself (Ātmavidyā or "knowledge of the Self"). If one understands oneself... only then it is possible to understand God, i.e. only then one can gain Brahmavidyā or "knowledge of Brahmn," Manifested Nature, etc. With the realization of the Higher Self come universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge).

'Madhura Madhura Dhvani Baaje': Raag Yaman-Kalyan. ~ "Tillana" of Carnatic music along with "Taranah" of Hindusthani classical vocal music. (Perhaps Raag Yamuna became Yaman. The word Kaḷyāṇ means auspicious or one who causes auspicious things):



       || (Aum) Asato mā sad gamaya
        Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
        Mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya
        Aum śānti śānti śāntiḥ ||

        From ignorance lead me to truth (knowledge, wisdom)
    From darkness (the fog of ignorance and confusion) lead me to light (the path of  illumination - surya dvarena)
        From death (moribund aspects) lead me to immortality
     Aum let there be peace within ourselves, let there be peace in the world, let there be peace in the universe.

      (from the Shanti Mantra from The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)

[Note: The syllable OM (written out as AUM with each letter having its own significance) represents Brahmn, as well as the whole of creation. It is also the primeval sound (Pranava Naad). Omkaara. ~ Very likely the voice of the Avatara. Pranavah or Omkaara is also known as the sound of the universe itself, possibly since the Avatara is Vishvaroopa (one whose body or earthly form is the Universe; the Universal Form - Vishva-roop or Viraat-roop). The Param-atma is Vishvaatma (Soul of the Universe - motive power and guiding spirit beyond the mathematically precise universe).]

'Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya' - may you go higher and higher, towards more and more Light (knowledge, prosperity, spiritual light, wisdom, intellectual illumination, and so on). It is the time to shun negative thinking (downward slide, hopelessness, cynicism, moribund aspects, etc); positive thinking is re-energizing. ~ The Sun-god stands for an embodiment of knowledge, prosperity, spiritual light, the wisdom of knowledge, intellectual illumination, and the like.

The Gayatri Mantra, also known as Savitr Mantra, is a 24-syllable hymn from the Rig Veda; it is one of the most auspicious and oldest of mantras. The auspicious Gayatri Mantra is also considered one of the most universal and greatest mantra. ~ BG 10.35: || gayatri chandasam aham || ~ "I am Gayatri mantra among the Vedic mantras." | Devi SarasvatI is the deity (manifestation, personification or embodiment) of Gayatri; the fountain of fine arts and science.

The Gayati Mantra: || AUM Bhur Bhuvah Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyoyonah Prachodayat ||

"Aum. Let the light of Savitri (the goddess of dawn, the embodiment of the effulgent Sun/Savitr - the path of illumination (surya dvarena) ~ Universal /Cosmic Consciousness or Higher Self - enter into Our spirit and illumine Our mind and enrich Our spirit (individual consciousness or mere Self)."

"Aum. You are the protector. You are the dispeller of miseries and bestower of happiness. You are the creator and the most acceptable intelligence, possessing eternal qualities. May Your qualities and Your inspiration pass to us."

Our national anthem is 'The Morning Song of India' - an ode to that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. Lord of Destiny] - who (in Tagore's own words) "has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved."

[Jana-Gana-Mana-Adhinayaka = Lord of Destiny, Reader of the Collective Mind of India, Perennial Guide. | On a side note: destiny cannot be changed, altered or transformed. The collective or cumulative karm-yog of a people/nation will decide (impact) their destiny.]

Here are the complete five stanzas:


Vande Mataram (My Obeisance to the Motherland / O mother! My obeisance to you!) | Composed by Rishi Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, this song is epic, a literary masterpiece, one of the best classics - so long it is read or listened to without the baggage of prejudices and emotions. And translations won't do. Much will be either lost or altered.

[Note: Vande Mataram could also mean: My Obeisance to 'Mother' Earth (Dharitri or Dharti Mata) or 'Mother' Nature (Prakriti). | 'Mother' or Mataram is a respectful honorific.]

Vande Mataram brings to mind Tagore's 'Ayi Bhubanmanomohini': 

Tagore says 'Neelsindhujalaadhautacharaantal, anilbikampita-shyamal-aanchal, ambarchumbitabhalhimachal, shubhratushaarkiritinii oi Bhubana Manomohini' ~ implying 'Mother' Nature ('Shyamalasundara' or 'Shyamsundara'; the 'Mohini-avatar' - Bhubanamanamohini ~ Prakriti or Vasundhara/Vasudha/Dharitri. In other words: Vasudeva, deity/deva of the earth).

Here is 'Esho Shyamala Sundara':


Neelsindhujaladhautacharantal = the pristine blue waters of the mighty Sindhu washes your feet.

anilbikampita-shyamal-aanchal ~ this perhaps should explain the Krishna-avatara as blue-hued as well as Hari or Hari-Krishna. | haritaH or PalashaH means green in Sanskrit. [Possibly a reference to nature - Prakriti.] | Shyamal = Shyamsundara or Shyamalasundara (indicative of nature or Prakriti). 

Blue complexion: Wherever there is the convergence of purity (inner perfection; sattvic aspects/qualities and inner joy and tranquility - spiritual ecstasy or true contentment of self-realization) and depth (boundlessness) ~ it produces the colour blue. Meghavarnam. | The water of the seas and the sky - both are blue-hued. ~ And, since the Avatara (the Param-atma or Eternal Divine/Cosmic Being in earthly form) as well as the Param-atma Itself (Ksirodakshayi Vishnu or Anantashayana Vishnu) combines both purity (inner perfection - insight, internal wisdom, lack of egocentricity or illusions, cognisance, unselfish and sattvic aspects/qualities and tranquility) and depth or boundlessness, the Avatara and Primordial Being too is (allegorically) 'blue-hued'. (~ It's a concept - indicative of divine attribute or divinity. Atma is energy; it has no earthly form or gender, thus the Param-atma is It.) | Blue also stands for: meditation/introspection, peace, tranquility (inner joy of true contentment), depth (boundlessness), stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, patience, decision-making and dharma (sattvic or noble traits and qualities - resulting in positive, tangible actions for the larger, collective good... leading to a prosperous, progressive and vibrant society.)

shyAmaH or kRiShNa also means black - kaalah. [Could also be indicative of Kalika or Mahakali. Time is Kaalah in Sanskrit. Goddess Kalika is also known as shyAmaH Kali.] ~ Black does not reflect light. In the case of black, all the colours making up white light are absorbed which makes that object appear black.

ambarchumbitabhalhimachal (the Himalayas)

shubhratushaarkiritinii' (snow-white crown or headgear).

~ BG 10.25: || sthāvarāṇāḿ himālayaḥ || ~ "and of immovable things I am the Himalayas."

It could be a reference to the ancient Himalaya kingdom and/or the Himalayan ranges. Devi Parvati (popularly known as Devi Durga - the Invincible, Aparajita) is also known as 'Himalaya-putri'. It is indicative of: personification of the Himalayas (thus Devi Parvati is also known as 'Himalaya-putri'). [Putri = embodiment, personification or manifestation.] Alternatively, Devi Parvati's father, Himavat (also known as Himavant) - the ruler of the Himalaya kingdom of ancient India, is also considered as the personification of the Himalayan Mountains, hence 'putri' can also mean daughter. | Parvati = of Parvat. (Given that the cosmic trimurti of SarasvatI-Lakshmi-Parvati are non-different, besides the Rig Veda describes the SarasvatI as descending from the Himalayas, could this also be an allusion to Mandar Parvat and/or Mt. Meru? BG 10.23: || meruh sikharinam aham || ~ "and of mountains I am Meru." Implying Shailesh or Shailendra? [Devi Parvati is also known as Shaila-putri.] | ambarchumbitabhalhimachal: bhal = forehead, signifying "destiny". The stotras dedicated to Devi Durga refer to Her as Shashisekhara. Rudra is bhāle shashidhārī, ChandrachuR.) 

Pijush or Piyush = the metaphoric/symbolic 'amrit' (positive aspects, transformative change) that emerges out of samudramanthan - the allegoric churning of the ocean ('samudra-manthan' or 'sagar-manthan'), also known as 'kshira-sagara manthan' - churning of the ocean of milk (kshira) - for 'amrit'. (Kshira-sagara is a reference to Sindhu Sagara, modern A. Sea). Perhaps this is what our ancients called 'Ashvamedha Yagna' - an euphemism for the positive change of course (through diligent karm-yog, karm-yagna) brought about by the gradual and steady 'churning of the ocean' helmed by the Primordial Being (Param-atma) and/or the Avatara. [If we comprehend this, we can also understand what Ksirodakshayi Vishnu (also known as Anantashayana Vishnu - reclining on Shesh [Sheshanaga/Śeṣanāga/Adisesha] on Kshir Sagar) depicted with Sri Devi (Lakshmi) and Bhu Devi (Dharitri or Prakriti) is indicative of. Both are non-different, and represent the Avatara (the Param-atma in earthly form, or Garbodakshayi Vishnu - reclining on the 'ocean of Garbha' - indicative of amniotic fluid; Hiranyagarbha: the Vishnu ['priceless gem'] 'born of the womb'). The iconography showing Sri Devi (Lakshmi) and Bhu Devi (Dharitri or Prakriti) - the Avatara - pressing the feet of Ksirodakshayi Vishnu (the Param-atma) may have come about after the decline of the Gupta era. Or it could be a riddle. | Unlike the rigorous monism (Advaita) of the Upanishads, the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita also integrates dualism (Dvaita) and theism (āstika).] 

'Chirakalyanamayi tumi dhanya, desh-bideshey bitareechho anno' ~ is indicative of Devi Lakshmi. 

[Note: Vasudeva Dhanvantari (the Supreme Druid) carries the metaphoric pot of 'amrit' (pijush or piyush). | Vaidyanatha or Vasudeva Dhanvantari (the Supreme Druid) = a problem solver, a change maker, a transformative personage, solution-provider or path-finder. | Vasudeva = Deity/deva of the Earth (implying Vasundhara or Dharitri/Vasudha).]


Tagore's 'Baasanti Heye Bhubanamohini':


[Baasanti is derived from Basanta (spring). Devi Sarasvati is also Baasanti - draped in yellow-coloured attire. ~ Personification, manifestation or embodiment of the sun? Indicative of solar energy?] 

Devi Sarasvati is depicted as extremely fair-complexioned and clad in *pristine white attire. ~ Yaa Kundendu tushaara haara-dhavalaa ~ She, who is as fair as the Kunda flower (Star jasmine or Jasminum multiflorum), as white as frosted dewdrops [dew is the purest form of water]). All imagery depicts her as very fair-complexioned. [tushaara haara-dhavalaa = as white (haara-dhavalaa) as frosted dewdrops or as white as snow (tushaara).] 

This could be indicative of the highly revered Pundarika or Pankaja/Svetakamala/DhavalaH kamala or Shubhra Kamala - "pure white lotus". [Dhavala is pronounced as DA wahl.] | Pure white symbolizes pristine - purity of mind (Supreme or Highest Enlightenment, the stage where nirvana is attained, the state of a Buddha), calmness, serenity and spiritual perfection (inner perfection - lack of illusions, non-deluded by transient aspects, non-selfish, lack of egocentricity, etc). It also signifies tranquility. | Pure white lotus could also be a reference to the final state of kundalini energy - when it reaches the Sahasrara - the 7th chakra or crown chakra - the highest chakra, signifying the light of wisdom = Surya-Kotti Samaprabha; as radiant as a million Suns. | [Buddha = the Enlightened One. Purity of mind = embodiment of true (pure, non-transient or eternal knowledge - Para Vidya) ~ light of knowledge or wisdom of knowledge. In other words: Supreme or highest enlightenment. | Text-book knowledge is apara vidya.] 

*White reflects all the colours of the visible light spectrum to the eyes. The sum of all the colours of light adds up to white. Thus, white is the blending of all colours. [White light is made up primarily of red, blue and green.] ~ Light appears colourless or white. Sunlight is white light that is composed of all the colours of the spectrum. A rainbow is proof. We can't see the colours of sunlight except when atmospheric conditions bend the light rays and create a rainbow. One can also use a prism to demonstrate this. Thus, white is a combination of all colours, i.e. white reflects all colours. White objects, tend to reflect all types of light equally well, and tend to reflect most of the light falling on it. ~ An object we call 'white' reflects all wavelengths of visible light and therefore could be considered all-coloured. White light contains light of all frequencies. In that sense, white is a combination of all colours. [~ Black, on the other hand, does not reflect light. In the case of black, all the colours making up white light are absorbed which makes that object appear black.] 

[Note: Rainbow is called Meghdhanush, Ramdhanu or Indra-dhanuSha in Sanskrit. It symbolizes hope.]

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