To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
The four subsidiary means of reasoning:
- Listening or reading most attentively with a calm mind to the lectures of a learned man, and more so if the subjects are a divine Science, because it is the most abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
- Thinking over what one has heard or read in retirement, and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even in the middle of a discourse if the speaker and the audience think proper.
- Rationalizing is the next step.
When all doubts are cleared after hearing or reading a discourse and
thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into the superior condition and
see for himself by the help of yoga (self-realization through meditation)
whether it is the same as he had heard and reasoned out or not.
- The result is the correct
knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired
The Art of Building Ships and Aircrafts, etc.
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The following mantras deal with mechanical arts and sciences.
"A man desirous of possessing and enjoying wealth, riches, necessaries of life, comforts and victory should fulfill his desires with the help of physical sciences. By constructing ships of wood, iron, etc., and by using fire and water (for generating steam for propulsion) he may make voyages on the seas backwards and forwards and in this way he may amass wealth. Such a man never dies in want and without assets, for he has labored as a man. Men should, therefore, spend all their efforts in building ships and boats for
* I have, however, translated these texts without reference to the vernacular explanation, except in the case of the last two verses, viz., ri VIII 2-1.1 and Yaju XXXII 10 where I have given a free translation of the vernacular explanation
going and coming from one country to another by water. The ships are to be constructed with metals such as iron, copper, silver or with wood, etc., and by the use of heat and light producing fire. These substances when properly used enable men to go from one country to another with ease and comfort.
In ships which carry men on their forward and return voyages on the sea should be strong and able to remain steady (on the waters). The officers of State and the merchants should voyage by means of ships whenever the exigencies of business might require it."
It is clear from this that conveyances of many other kinds such as aerial cars, etc., can be constructed with the same materials and means. Men should acquire highest renown and splendor by constructing cars for traveling in the upper regions.
Ships and boats should be made so smooth and polished that they become waterproof and water does not enter into them from outside. In this way let men travel in the three regions, i.e., on land by means of land vehicles, on water by means of water conveyances and in the air by means
of aerial cars. Rigveda I. 8:8-3.
[The word Tugra is derived from the root Tuji to kill, strengthen, accept, live in a house by adding the Aunadik rak to it.
In Uhathus the second person is used for the third.
Our intepretation of the word Ashvinau is supported by Nirukta.
'Among the devas of the bright firmament the first rank in rank are the two Ashvins which affect all thins by ashva, i.e., by their juice or light or currents. This is the opinion of Aurnavabha. Hence some say that they are the bright and the opaque substances, others, that they are the sun and the moon. Nirukta XII. 1. Page 275
[The Ashvins are Jarbhari or agents of protection or Turphari - agents of destruction or shock and impact. They are like ocean-born jewels. Nirukta. III. 5]
These quotations prove that the three kinds of cars can be made by mechanical skill with such materials as gases, fire, water and other earth-born substances.
'The three kinds of cars, the ships, etc., should be provided with means of comfort and they should be able to move at such a great speed that they may cross the watery ocean, the land, the upper region in three days and three nights, rushing on their course as if they were provided with innumerable feet. They should have six mechanisms, fire chambers for securing swift motion.
Let man travel comfortably in the three regions.
These cars are to be made with the help of the above mentioned Ashvins. they alone can move the cars properly and they also are thePage 276
principal means and helps in building such cars.
Men can enjoy the best comforts by acting in this way but not otherwise.' Rigveda 1.8-8-4.
[In Uhathus by the anomalous use of the person the second person has been used for the third as is obvious. The Ashtadyayi III. 1. says 'Anomalies are optionally used.' On this the author of the Mahabhashya says: 'The author wishes to say that there are anomalies in the use of case, number, gender, person, tense, etc. This anomalous use of cases, etc., is optional.]
'Ye men! In the ocean full of eater and in the upper region where there is no means of support for hand, where none can stand you should travel, for success in your undertakings,Page 277
by building ships and aerial cars in the way described above. Such cars when moved by the properly yoked Ashvins bring success to the undertakings. As to what kinds of ships, etc., should be launched in the ocean (of water or of air) 9we are told that) there should be a hundred iron 'aritras -oars' (i.e., apparatus) for supporting the cars on land, on water and in the air and keeping them steady and for taking the bearings.
These apparatus should be fixed to the land conveyances, ships and aerial cars. These three kinds of cars should be constructed with a hundred mechanical devices, fastenings, appliances for making them steady. Such cars secure permanent and abiding enjoyments. Rigveda I.8-8-9
[The words Uhathus, Ashvinau, Bhujyuh are to be interpreted as before.]
"all men should exert themselves in this way, because it helps to secure enjoyments. Page 278
These cars mentioned above are to be constructed by the use of the white steam which the scientific men generate by properly employing the aforesaid Ashvins, water and fire, for the purpose of swift locomotion. These conveyances are always a source of comfort,. Thus power of the Ashvins to move the cars should be utilized by men.
This power of the Ashvins is fit to be bestowed as a gift and a sit is conducive to happiness, it is invigorating. It is full of great capabilities and most praiseworthy. It is productive of excellent good to others. This fire is a swift horse which causes these cars to move rapidly on their track. We should employ this fire, the cause of swift locomotion, to our use. The merchants should use it in particular." Rig. !.8.8.1.
[The Vam there is the anomalous use of the person.]
The word Kirtenyam is formed by addingPage 279
the suffix kenya to give the sense of activity.
In Bhut the past tense is used for the present.
The Nighantu I.14 gives Paidva as one of the names of ashva.
An [aphorism of Panini says the Arya is the name of Vaishya (merchant) and master.]
'For the production of smooth, graceful motion in a car and for swift locomotion there should be attached three sets of strong wheels and mechanical appliances and the artisans should construct three supports to make it firm and steady and to keep the various mechanical parts in their place.
The learned mechanics know that these cars lead to peace and comfort and the realization of desires. They should construct these cars with the help of the Ashvins because their use alone theyPage 280
can obtain success in building such cars as will traverse the greatest distances within three days and three nights." Rig. !.3.4.1
Now as to what kind of car for traveling upon land, water or in the air should be made.
It should be made of one of the three metals, iron, copper or silver. It should be such that the Ashvins, air, fire (gases, heat, electricity) may by means of mechanical devices move it forwards and backwards as swiftly as the move of the mind and the soul." Rig !.3-5-7.
"It should be provided with the apparatus for keeping it steady, retaining its balance and stopping it. It should be of spacious dimensions. Such a craft, when the horse, i.e., fire, is harnessed to it, is able to cross the great oceans with great speed. Page 281
of ears should be property yoked water, that is, steam so that they move at the greatest speed. Rig I. 3-34.8
[Indu is a name for water in Nighantu. It is formed from Undi by changing its initial letter u and i according to an aphorism of the first Pada of Unadikosha.]
"O men! Properly employ in the three kinds of cars mentioned above, the air, etc., whose velocity is as great as that if the mind by means of locomotive machinery. These air, fire ,etc., in conjunction with water generate steam which imparts swift motion to them." Rig I. 6-9.4
"Cars should be constructed for traversing distances upon land, water and in the upperPage 282
region. May our ships be as good as t hose of the wise who live by making sea voyages. May we employ water and fire in our cars as the wise do in theirs. All men should endeavor to construct such cars for crossing and re-crossing the oceans, etc." Rig. I, 3-34-7.
[Matayah occurs among the names of the wise in the 15th Khanda of the Nighantu.]
"O men when the swift moving horses, i.e. fires are lighted, under vessels containing water, with fuel, wood, etc., and are able to move the machinery then they make the cars made of earthly substances leap up into the bright firmament. I.e., carry then up. (When they get up full steam and move rapidly they produce happiness just as the land irrigated by water produces various objects for the enjoyment of men. Rig. II. 32-17. Page 283
"These cars should have twelve supports for the mechanical parts and there should be one (fly) wheel for moving the whole machinery. There must be three contrivances in the center to keep the whole machinery in working order. The machinery is to consist of three hundred parts which are meant for moving the cars and there must be sixty other parts meant for stopping them. All the ears should be constructed in this way. All men do not know how to build them." Rig II. 3-23-48.
There are many mantras in the Vedas dealing with this subject, but we do not quote all of them here for this is not the proper place for doing so.
On the Science of Telegraphy
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In the following verse the germs of the science of telegraphy have been revealed.
"You should make the telegraph apparatus of a pure white metal which is a good conductor of electricity possessing the qualities of fire and it should be charged with electricity. It should possess the qualities of the Ashvins. It has many excellent properties and mostof the learned put it to their use. In military operations of the State it is a source of strength which it is most difficult to overcome.
It should be employed most frequently in all things. It possesses this property that when it is struck it transmits the current and brings success in all great and good undertakings. It is most helpful in defeating the opposing forces of the enemy and in securing victory to the home forces.
It helps forward the operations of human armies. Like the sun it brings to light events happening at great distances. Becoming well versed in the use of the Ashvins, the terrestrial substances and electricity, always make use of the telegraph apparatus. Rig I.8-21-10Page 285
[In yuyom duvasyathah there is anomalous use of the person (the second being used for the third)].On the Medical Science
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"The following verse contains the root of the medical science:-
"O God, thou art the great Healer! My the medicines, soma, etc., be our friends, promote our welfare and destroy diseases through Thy favor and may we know t hem thoroughly. May the pranas be our good friends. May they be unfriendly to and inflict pain on the oppose those unrighteous men or evil passions such as anger, lust, etc., and diseases, who or which oppose us or whom or which we oppose.
That is to say, medicines like friends destroy the afflictions of those who follow a proper regimen and like enemies inflict pain on those who violate it." Yaju VI. 22. Page 286
[In Sumitriya and durmitriya according to the supplementary rul 'Iya diyach and i should 'also be enumerated' diyach has been substituted for ghas the sign of plural nominative.]
There are many verses in the Vedas which contain the root principles of the medical science. This not the proper place to quote them, but we shall explain them at the proper place.On Rebirth
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The following verses refer to the doctrine of past and future births.
"O God! Thou conductest our pranas. We pray Thee that we may be happy whenever we may assume another body after death. Grant us, O God! The eyes and all the other senses, the pranas and the inner senses in our future birth when we may assume another body after forsaking the present. Do ThouPage 287
grant us that when we are born again we may enjoy uninterruptedly all enjoyable thins. May we be able to see the luminous sun and the ingoing and outgoing pranas in all our rebirths. O God! Thou art the dispenser of honor and happiness, make us happy in all our rebirths, through Thy grace."
[In this mantra, the eye (Chakshu) represents all the senses and prana the inner senses.]
"Be gracious, O Lord! To grant that in our rebirths the earth may give us prana born of food and strength, the bright light of the sun may give us prana and middle region may give us life; the juices of medicines such as soma, may give us body (bodily health and vigor). O God! Thou art the giver of strength and nourishment, show us in our rebirths the path of virtue (dharma). We pray that happiness be our lit in all our births through Thy grace. Rig VIII. !. 23. 6 & 7. Page 288
"O God! May the mind with knowledge and other good qualities an may the full term of life come to us in our rebirth, through Thy favor. May pure thoughts come to us in our rebirth and may sight and hearing also come to us. O God! Thou art the guide and director of the universe; in Thee there is no fault such as arrogance, deceit; thou are the protector of our bodies, and art all wisdom and bliss; keep us aloof from evil deeds and protect us in all our birth-cycles, so that being free from sin we may remain happy in all our births."
"O Lord! May we get, through Thy favor in our rebirths all the senses and that force which sustains the pranas. may we be endowed with the noble riches of knowledge and have firm devotion to Thee. May we get human bodies so that we may be able to tend the fires, Ahavaniya, etc. O Lord of the Universe! May we have the same form, intellect and good bodies as we were endowed with in our previous birth so that we may be able with the help of intellect to discharge our duties properly in the world of our rebirth and may we never suffer pain on any account. Page 289
"A man who, has done good actions in his previous birth, gets many good bodies in virtue of those good actions, but if he has done evil deeds he does not get human body and is born into the body of an animal, etc., and suffers pain.
[This is the lesson conveyed by God in the first half of the verse.]
It is the nature of the soul that it reaps the fruits of its good and had actions done in a future birth. After leaving its old body it enters such substances as the air, water, medicinal herbs, etc., and then through their agency it enters into a new body according to the fruits of its former good or bad deeds.
The jiva which obtains a full and complete knowledge of the Vedas, the word of God, obtains the body of a learned man like its former body and enjoys happiness; but the jiva which acts in violation of the dictates of the Vedas and virtue gets the body of lower animals and suffers pain." Yaju IV. !5; Atharva VII. 6-67-1; AtharvaPage 290
"We have heard that there are two paths in this world for enjoying the good and suffering the bad consequences of virtue and vice. The first is the path trodden by the pitris (the wise) and the devas (the learned) and such men as are devoid of knowledge and wisdom. The first is divided two fold i.e., the pirtriyana and the Devayana. That in which a jiva obtaining a body from the father and mother enjoys happiness as the fruit of its good actions and suffers pain as the consequences of its evil and deeds and again and again, i.e., Page 291
in which it is subject to past and future birth is called the pitriyana. That in which it obtains emancipation, is liberated from the world i.e., the migrations of birth and death is called devayana. In the former, after having enjoyed the fruits of its stock of virtue it is born again and dies also. In the latter, it is not born again, nor does it die. By these two paths the whole world passes and repasses.
When the Jiva, leaving it's previous body and wandering about in the air, water or vegetable kingdom enters the body of the father or the mother it becomes and embodied spirit." Yaju XIX. 47.
The author of the Nirukta also supports the doctrine of rebirth in the following couplets:Page 292
"I died and was born again, and having been born I died once more. I have tenanted thousands of different bodies.
"I have tasted many kinds of food and have sucked many kinds of breasts. I have
many fathers, mothers and friends.
" The jiva is born with its head downwards and suffers the pains of birth." Nirukta XIII, 19.
The great sage Patanjali in the Yoga aphorisms and his commentator Veda Vyasa also have established the truth of the doctrine of rebirth.
'Flowing by its potency the fear of death affects even the learned.' Yoga !. 2-9
The fear of death which is exhibited, from the very birth, by all (living beings) shows that there are births and rebirths. Even a newly born ant, as well a learned man, is subject to the fear of death. This shows that without experience of death in a former life, there would be no impressions of it in this. With out the impressions there would be no remembrancePage 293
and without remembrance how could there be fear of death? Seeing that all living beings exhibit fear of death we should infer that past and future births do take place.
Similarly, the most learned sage Goutama in his Nyaya Shastra, and Vatsyayana in his commentary thereon express their belief in the doctrine of rebirth.Pretyabhava."Nyaya Sutra. I.1.19
[Pretyabhava is to leave an old and to assume a new body. It is composed of two words, Pretya which means, having died, and Bhava which means coming into being. So a jiva after departing from here is born again and assumes a body.]
Here those who believe in one birth only say: 'If there was a former birth why is it no remembered?'
We reply: 'Open the eyes of understanding and see. There is no remembrance of the pains and pleasures which we experienced up to the age of five years since our birth, nor, of all thePage 294
events that happened in our waking moods and during sleep. What to say then of remembering events of our past existence?'
Q. - 'If God awards us in this existence of fruits of our good and bad actions, which we did in our past life, in the form of pleasures and pains, God becomes unjust because we know them not and also because we are not reformed thereby.'
A. ~ We say: 'Knowledge is to two kinds, direct and inferential. Suppose fever affects the body of a medical man and also of a layman. The medical man, on account of his special knowledge, putting the cause and the effect together, infers the cause of the fever. Not so with the lay man, but he, too, though devoid of this special knowledge of the medical man, knows that there is no effect without a cause and as he experiences the effects of fever comes to know that he must have been guilty of some irregularity in diet, etc. Similarly, God, who is just, cannot give pain or pleasure to any body without his having done bad or good actions. We see that in the world thatPage 295
are mightier and lower grades of happiness and misery. This shows that virtuous and evil deeds must have been done in a former existence.
The holders of one birth theory raise many similar objections. They should be answered after due consideration. It is not necessary that everything should be explained in black and white to intelligent persons. They can understand a good deal by a few hints only. Besides this, we do not write more on this subject in this place for the fear of increasing the bulk of the book.On marriage.
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The following two verses ordain the sacrament of marriage.
"O virgin! O young maiden! I take thy hand i.e., I marry the and thou marriest me for accomplishing the purpose of begetting children. Lady! Mayes thou grow old in my (thy husband's) company and may I grow old in thy (my wife's) company and may we, in Page 296
this way, lovingly perform our duties and remain happy. God, full of glory and grandeur, the ordainer of justice, the creator and supporter of the whole universe has bestowed thee on me for household duties. All the learned men assembled here are our witnesses. If any of us should ever violate this our compact he or she would be punishable by God and the learned." Rig VIII.3.27.1.
As to how the husband and the wife should conduct themselves after going through the marriage, God ordains:
"O husband of the house-holder and may separation never take place between you and on account of quarrel or (permanent) residence in a foreign land. May you, by My blessing, always discharge your duties, do good to all, remain devoted to Me and live up to old age full of joys of various kinds. May you live happilyPage 297
in your home in the company of your children and grandchildren, engaged in the performance of your duty and virtuous acts. Rig. VIII. 3-28-2
From this it is clear that one man should have only one wife and one woman only one husband. That is to say, the marriage of one man with many women and of one woman with many men is prohibited, because in all the Vedic verses only the singular number is used (for the husband or the wife.
There are many mantras in Vedas dealing with the subject of marriage.On Niyoga (Appointment)
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The following verses sanction Niyoga or marriage by appointment between a widow and a widower.
"O married couple! Where do you pass the night, where do you pass the day, where do you earn your living, where is your privatePage 298
chamber and where is your sleeping room? (As to how the man and the woman who have contracted Niyoga should behave towards each other it is said that) as a married woman draws to her rooms a married man (her husband) for begetting children, even so should a widow and a widower after entering into Niyoga behave like married men and women for the purpose of procreation." Rig V. 8. 18.2
These questions are put to the husband and the wife and the dual number is used for them. This shows that one man should have only wife and one woman only one husband, that there should always be mutual love between them, that they should never separate from each other and that they should not be guilty of adultery.
(A bride should approach the groom) as a widow approaches her second husband by Niyoga. For authority see Nirukta III. 15 which says "a devara so called because he is he second husband.' A widow isPage 299
allowed to contract Niyoga with a second husband and a widower with a widow. A widow should enter into Niyoga with a person whose wife is dead but never with a bachelor. Similarly, a bachelor should not contract Niyoga with a widow. That is to say, the bachelors and virgins should marry only once.
(In case they become widowers (or widows) they should enter into Niyoga. A second marriage is never allowed among the twice-born. It is allowed in the Sudra Varna only, because the Shudras are devoid of learning and of the usage (of the learned).
"This widow, forsaking her dead husband and desiring conjugal happiness comes to thee, O man! Her (second husband), i.e., approaches thee by way of Niyoga. Do thou accept her and beget children upon her. Observing the ancient rite sanctioned by the Vedas she accepts thee as her husband by Niyoga. Do thou also accept her and make her bear children in this world and make her pregnant." Atharva XVIII. 3-1-1. Page 300
"O widowed woman! Leave thy dead husband whom thou hadst married and go thy living second husband and live with him for the purpose of procreating children. They children born to Niyoga shall belong to thy late husband who had accepted thy hand at marriage, or, if the Niyoga has been contracted for the sake of thy husband by Niyoga then they shall belong him.
O widow! If thou desirest to enter into Niyoga after the death of thy husband by marriage then approach a man whose married wife is dead, and become happy by giving birth to children. Rig X:18-8
The following verses enumerate the children that can be begotten by Niyoga, i.e., how many times a Niyoga can be contracted and how many children can be begotten
"O married man! Thou art the giver of seed, make her the mother of noble children and make her supremely happy. MakePage 301
this married woman bear ten children only but not more. (We should, therefore, understand that God has permitted a man to beget ten children only.) O woman! Have only eleven husbands including that to whom thou wast married.
The meaning is that if such a dire calamity happens that the husbands die one after the other the woman is allowed to contract Niyoga, for the purpose of begetting children, with ten persons one after the other.
Similarly, the widower, if after the death of this wife by marriage the wives by Niyoga with ten widows one after the other. But if a widow or a widower do not desire to contract Niyoga she or he may not do so." Rig VIII. 3-28-5
The next verse gives the names of the different husbands one after the other.
"O woman! Thy first husband by marriage is called
- Soma (gentle) because he possess
the quality of gentleness, etc.Similarly, the first married wife is called Somya, the second wife by Niyoga is called Ghandharvya, the third Agneyi and the others Manushyajah, on account of their possession of aforesaid qualities." Rig VIII. 3-27-5.
- The second husband who accepts thee by Niyoga after they widowhood is called Gandharva because he knows what sexual intercourse is.
- The husband with whom thou contractest Niyoga for the third time gets the appellation of Agni, because the substances of his body burn as if they were on fire when he enters into Niyoga with thee who hast had intercourse with two men already.
- O woman! Thy husbands from the fourth up to the tenth are known by the name Manushyayah because they are possessed of ordinary strength and vigor.
"O woman! Thou servest thy first husband by marriage and thy second husband (by Niyoga). Mayest thou, acquiring benign ib>
observing the good laws in household affairs, treating the domestic animals with kindness, accompanied, with excellent grace and knowledge, devoting thyself to the bringing up of children, giving birth to valiant progeny, desiring to have a second husband by Niyoga, the Ahavaniya, etc., and perform all household duties." Atharva XIV. 2-18
These verses sanction the institution of Niyoga to be observed by men and women in times of distress.The Duties of the Ruler and the Ruled.
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The following verses lay down the duties of a king.
"As the two kings, the sun and the moon, shed luster on all corporeal objects, so just and enlightened acts of sunlike and moonlike qualities adorn the three assemblies. By these assemblies men gain many joys such as thosePage 304
of victory, etc. By these State assemblies men adorn all things of world and render all living beings happy. One of them is executive and administrative assembly (Rajarya Sabha) for carrying on the government of the country; the second is the assembly of the learned (Arya Vidya Sabha) charged particularly to spread learning and advance it, and the third is the religious assembly (Arya-Dharma Sabha) concerned especially with the promotion of virtue and morality and the prevention of unrighteousness by means of preaching, etc.
All these assemblies should, in ordinary matters, co-operate with one another for promulgation of all good measures among the subjects. Wherever the learned and the righteous persons, in these assemblies, after a consideration of what is useful and of what is harmful, encourage people to do their duties and restrain them from doing what they ought not to do, there the subjects always remain happy and contented. Where there is an absolute monarch the subjects always remain happy and contented. Where there is an absolute monarch the subjects are oppressed. It is certain. God says that the common weal is promoted only in those States in which the governments is in the hand of an assembly.Page 305
Those men only, and, none but they, are eligible for membership of the State Assemblies who are of truthful conduct and know fully what is true and just. It is a divine ordinance which all should obey, that only such persons, and none but they, ought to be allowed to sit in these assemblies as are well versed in the business of land administration and the government of the country, are capable of knowing all events by employing secret agents who are able to have access everywhere like air, are righteous and are inspired by a desire to do good to all by shedding the light of truth and justice like the rays of the sun." Rig. III, 2.24.6
[The word Keshah means solar rays.]
"O God Thou art the source of kingly functions and the promulgator of the laws of government. Be gracious unto us and make us instrumental in the protection of the StatePage 306
and the administration of its affairs. May there be not atheists among us guilty of contumely towards Thee, and mayest Thou also be never indifferent towards us so that we may be always qualified to govern in Thy creation." Yaju. XX.1
"That country, in which there is not opposition between Brahma i.e. God, Veda and the God-knowing Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas possessed of such qualities as valor, fortitude, is to be considered holy and endowed with a desire for performing the yajnas. The subjects can be happy in that country alone in which the learned walk with God and perform the yajnas such as agnihotra, etc." Yaju XX 25.
"O President of the Assembly! Among the creatures of God, the self-refulgent and the Page 307
creator of the world, thou art endued with the arms of the sun and the moon i.e. with strength and vigor, with the hands of Pushan i.e. with the possession and the gift of the nourishing pranas, and with the disease-destroying mass of medicines of the earth and the upper regions.
I sprinkle fragrant waters on thy head in order that thou mayest display such virtues a justice etc., and disseminate deepest learning. I appoint thee for obtaining excellent strength with the help of the highest glory of God and full and complete knowledge for attainment of the glories of universal empire, for acquiring most excellent renown and for performing the kingly functions."
"O God! Thou art all bliss, render us also happy by granting us the blessings of good government. Thou art possessed of supreme happiness, make us also perfectly happy by bestowing upon us the boon of parliamentary government. We seek Thy protection for abiding happiness. We adore Thee to give us benign rule. O God of true renown! Lord of bliss and Giver of welfare and happiness! The
Revealer of truth and the Bestower of true government! We acknowledge Thee the paramount Lord of our State Assemblies."
"Let the President of the Assemblies, and also their members, believe that the kingly glory is like is head, noble renown like his mouth, the luster of truth and justice like His beard and hair, God and the air residing with in his body, the cause of life, like his King, the bliss of emancipation, the Veda, like his suzerain and overlord, and the display and dissemination in various ways of such qualities as truth and learning like his eyes and ears. Let all men know that these are the limbs of the president and the members of the assemblies. Yaju XX. 3,1. and 5.
"Noble strength is like my arms, a mindPage 309
stocked with knowledge and pure and the organs of hearing etc. are like my hands i.e., the instruments for grasping, the possession of noble prowess is like my activity and the kingly duties are my very self and heart.".
"The kingdom is like my backbone, he army and the treasury are like my shoulders (lit. the roots of the arms) and the abdomen respectively, to adorn the subjects with happiness and make them enterprising are like my buttockto make the subjects proficient s, in the trade and commerce and in the mathematical sciences is like my thighs an to maintain complete harmony between the subjects and the State Assemblies is like my knees.
these aforesaid acts are like my different limbs. As a man feels affection for his bodily organs and is deeply interested in protecting an strengthening them even so should all consider the protection and prosperity of the people the objects of their love and concern." Yaju. XX. 7 and 8. Page 310
" I reside in the kingdom that is governed righteously, in the country in which knowledge and virtue are widespread, in every horse and in every cow and in every part of the universe do I dwell. In every soul, in every prana, in every earth and in every shining firmament and in every Yajna I make my habitation.
I alone pervade everywhere. Those who carry on the duties of Government depending on Me as the Lord of their desire are always victorious and prosperous. All officers of the Government should always govern the people according to the light of justice and knowledge, so that justice and ignorance may be destroyed."
"For achieving victory is every battle I seek the protection of Indra (God), the protector of the universe, the most glorious, the fighter of noble battles, the most valiant, the mightiest, the king of the universe, the strong and brave soldiers and governing His kingdom with justice. May Indra (God), the giver ofPage 311
the highest riches, the Almighty Lord grant us the uninterrupted joy of triumph in all acts of government." Yaju XX, 10 and 50.
"O learned members of the State Assemblies! Discharge with the glory, the noble functions of government in your present kingdom which is free from the enemy and the thorns (disturbances) with the object of making its government matchless, establishing all business on the basis of the highest knowledge, exercising sovereign authority among the learned, shedding the light of justice and dispelling the darkness of injustice like the sunlight and rendering this people as happy as possible. You should also know that among the members versed in the Vedas such a person alone can be the king after his election to the president-ship of thePage 312
assemblies who is endowed with gentle qualities versed in all the sciences. O members! Promulgate this order among the common people that such a member as well the laws passed by the administrative assembly of the State (the Rajasabha) is the king, yours as well as ours. We, therefore, anointed and elect as the president of the State assemblies such and such person the son of such and such well know father and mother.
May (Indra) God or the Parliamentary government ever achieve the highest victory and may He or it never come by defeat. May the king of kings, the Ruler of the Universe be always celebrated with His truth, justice and splendor among us whether we may happen to live in great empires or smaller kingdoms. The Ruler of the universe, alone who is worthy to be worshipped by all men again and again, is fit to be adored, praised, saluted and depended upon by us Mayest thou O Lord the emperor of emperors be duly honored in this kingdom; (for, by honoring thee we shall always be honored in this great empire). Page 313
"O Lord, Indra! Thou art the king of the universe. Thou hearest all; be gracious into me and make me also such (a listener). Thou art, O Lord! Ever-existent, and the fulfiller of the wished for glories of all men, do Thou give me all glories through Thy grace. O Lord of the universe! Thou protectest by Thy truth and justice the people who possess bright qualities and who are living under the protection of various good governments, do Thou protect me also. O king of kings! The world is Thy eternal, imperishable and well governed empire. May it be ours as a gift from Thee. When God is prayed to in this manner He gives His blessing and says; 'Let this kingdom, names the earth, which has been made by Me, by yours." Yaju IX 40, & Atharva VI 10. 98.1 and 2.
The following verse, viz., Rig 1.3, 18-2 has been explained in the chapter on the subject of prayer.
"Let the State assembly and the people acknowledge God, the King of all kings and the President of the State Assemblies, after anointing him, as their king and let them fight under his orders and let the army of brave soldiers fight, having regard to the commands of God and in obedience to the orders of the President in Council and of their own commander." Atharva XV, 2, 9, 2.
God says to al men:-
"O friends! Propitiate the glorious God and please your commander who is the killer of foes, skilled in war, fearless and illustrious. In this way commence your battles for Page 315
vanquishing the wicked enemy. Following you leader who won the host of foes before, who conquered (the countries of) the world and his senses, whose strength is his arm, who is victorious and who is the annihilator of his foes with his valor and prowess, be always victorious." Atharva VI, 10.97, 3.
"O God! Thou art (the element of) good in the assembly, protect my assembly. [The word me means our and refers to all men]. May the members who sit in our assemblies and who are well versed in their business protect our threefold assembly mentioned before.
O universally adorable God! May those presidents and the members obtain happiness who acquire knowledge of State-craft with Thee (i.e., who remember thee in the administration of the state). May we, duly protected by parliamentary government, live up to a happy (old) age of hundred years." Page 316
So far we have briefly described the functions of Government according to the Vedas, now we shall give a brief resume of them according to the Shatapatha and the Aitareya Brahmanas.
"Let the learned and the righteous men of the State assemblies always conduce to the happiness of the good men among the subjects and deal gently by them and adopt a stern attitude towards the wicked. The duties of a king have a twofold aspect, i.e., mild and forbearing and stern and terrible.
Sometimes, owing to the exigencies of time, place and the subject in hand, they have to be tolerant; at others, they have to be otherwise and have to visit the wicked persons with severe punishment. The Kshatra or Statecraft consists in the bringing happiness to the doers of good deeds, and in inflicting pain on the wicked and in the possessionPage 317
of an army of the most valiant soldiers and other similar objects."
"The act of Government (Kshatra) is the greatest of all. By protecting the weak it conduces to the best kind of happiness. By following the principles of Government described above men can improve the administration of the State, but not otherwise. For this reason art of government is the most important of all. It gives happiness to the people, unto the officers of the State, like their ownself and is the source of uninterrupted happiness and peace to the whole world. For this reason, the art of government exceeds in importance all other acts."
[Here by the word Brahma is to be understood the Brahmana Varna well versed in all sciences.] The duties of governing a State are established in it, because the improvement and preservation of State administration are not possible without true knowledge. And true knowledge is established in the Kshatriyas; for, without them its preservation and progress cannot be possible. For Page 318
this reason, the amelioration and welfare of a State can result only from co-operation between knowledge and political power."
"The officers of State should always keep from harm their senses (and passions) which are so powerful and indomitable i.e. they should always keep them under control; for, it has been said that moral courage and strength are (Kshatra Rajanya) kingly power. Hence a man makes the government prosperous and promotes its happiness in every way my moral courage and strength. The art of government requires constant solicitude and is the greatest of all acts."
"Let all men being actuated by such desires as the following put forth their manly exertions. May I rise with all good qualifications and enjoyments in the assembly in which are the most excellent learned men, for attaining, through God's favor, the position of the president of the assemblies or for obtaining sovereign power over lesser kings, for exercising the authority of the ruler of worldwide empire, for ruling over and protecting the kingdomPage 319
according to law and justice, forgetting the best enjoyment, for obtaining self-government, for shining with greatness among various kings, for establishing a mighty empire, for wielding supreme and sovereign power, and for bringing the people under my control."
"The business of the State should be commenced after saluting God three or four times. That country or State, which places itself under the divine control, prospers and grows rich the becomes full of valiant persons. Valiant persons are born in such a state only and nowhere else. Such is the divine commandment." Aitareya VIII 2, 3. 6 and 9. Page 320
"Let the members of the assemblies and the subjects always live with God, the Lord and Master, the most adorable and desirable. All of them should meet together and make such deliberations as are calculated to prevent the loss of happiness and defeat. Let all or them desire to anoint as their king such person from among the learned as possesses the greatest power of forbearance, the most noble on account of the possession of all qualities, most
of all able to take them safely through all sufferings such as war, etc., the most victorious and the noblest among them. Let all the subjects also say 'Let this be so' to such a noble person brings all glory, it is called Indra.
We anoint as our king and universal ruler this most noble person who is fit to fill the position of the ruler of a world wire empire, able to protect and achieve the best enjoyments, a brilliant statesman, shining with the light of such qualities as true knowledge in his heart, able to protect the self-governing State, the light-giver of various kings, fit to be appointed ruler of the best state, and elected to preside over this great kingdom.
The empire of the person who is so anointed is happy. In it are born brave soldiers (Kshatriyas), the president of the assemblies fit to rule over all livings beings, the destroyer of the wicked subjects, the demolisher of the cities of the enemy, the killer of the evil doers and the unrighteous, Page 321
the protector of the Vedas and the defender or Dharma. [In ajani past tense is used for the present, past and future tenses are used for one another.] The President of the assemblies and other men should make such kingly function and God their object of desire. No object other than God should be made the object of desire. For this reason all men should become worshippers of God.
When a man who desires to rule over a state is anointed and elected King in the aforesaid manner which leads to the attainment of all glories, he becomes invested with the kingly state and becomes victorious in all battles. He is everywhere triumphant and acquires all good worlds (states). He obtains the most exalted rank and nobility and commands (the greatest) respect, as mentioned above, among the kings. He obtains that highest state which results from the joy of victory over the enemies and from the humbling of the foes, [or here the "highest state" may be taken to signify the highest position in the State assembly and thenPage 323
the meaning would be; 'He having obtained the satisfaction of defeating and subduing the enemy rises to the highest position in the State assembly.] By the favor of the State assembly he obtains the authority of the universal ruler, the best enjoyments, autonomous rule and authority over various kings, the most exalted rank, imperial authority and sovereignty which have been referred to above. He becomes the suzerain and universal ruler and the king of kings in this world and after leaving this body goes to the abode of bliss, the Supreme Brahman, where he becomes free and self-illumined, obtains the bliss of emancipation, obtains all desires, is free from old age and death and all of his aspirations are fulfilled. No misfortune can befall a State in which members of the State assemblies, having made him to take the vow of all the aforesaid glories, anoint a kshatriya distinguished above all by his qualifications and elect him as king in the State assemblies.
Aitareya VIII. 12, 14 and 19.
They call that government the best wherein people are properly governed by means of parliamentary institutions, which obtain desired happiness, put and end to the evil doers and endeavor to make people contented.
He alone is fit to be called a Brahmana who knows God and the Veda. He alone is Page 325
fit to be called a Rajanya i.e., Kshatriya who has conquered his senses, is learned, is endowed with the qualities of valor, etc., possesses great heroism and takes upon himself the duties of government. The glory of the empire and prosperity are enhanced in the highest degree and they never fade and never become otherwise when the Brahmanas and the Kshatriyas co-operate in the administration of the country.
The strength of a Kshatriya lies in war. Great wealth and happiness are never secured without fighting. In Nighantu II. 17, Mahadhana, 'great wealth' is given as a synonym for war, because, by it or through it are obtained great riches. High respect and great wealth are never obtained without it.
The Ashwamedha of a Kshatriya is the government of the kingdom and not the killing and burning in homa fire of a horse.
When a Kshatriya endowed with the qualities mentioned above puts forth his glory and greatness and valor he becomes able to govern a worldwide empire. A Kshatriya should, Page 326
therefore, be brave, eager to fight, fearless and skilled in the use of weapons and missiles. He should have (an army of) warriors able to destroy the enemy and should possess big cars for traveling on land, water and in the air. Fear and misery never visit that kingdom in which Kshatriyas of this type are born.
Shat.XII. 8-2; XIII. 1-5; XIII. 1-6; XIII. 1-9.
State policy enlightened by knowledge and other good qualities is the empire itself. The glory of the empire is also its burden and it is its central part (the heart). Protection of the subjects is the sleep of the empire i.e., as refreshing and undisturbed as sleep. The subjectsPage 327
are called its gabha (splendor) and the Government is called pasa (rod). The act of governing affects the subjects because by imposing taxes it takes away their good things. The subjects are always oppressed in a country, which is ruled over by a monarch unassisted by the State assemblies. One man should not, therefore, be made (an absolute) monarch. An individual can never have the power to discharge the duties of government single-handed.
Consequently, the administration of the State should be vested in the assemblies. In those countries in which there is (an absolute) monarch, he things the subjects as his food, fit to be devoured and oppresses them. (An absolute) monarch is said to eat his subjects because he seizes upon their valuable possessions for his selfish purposes and thus oppresses them.
As a meat-eater seeing a fat animal desires to kill it (for food) so an absolute monarch being jealous of his subjects outshining and surpassing him cannot bear the prosperity of any man. For this reason, administration of the State by means of the assemblies is the only form of good government. Shat. XIII. 2.3.Page 328
On The Varnas and Ashramas
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The verse of Brahmano asya Mukham asit etc., Yaju XXXI. (vide Chapter on cosmogony) had been explained already. What follows is only by way of amplification.
The Nirukta II. 3 says the word varna is derived from the root vri, 'to choose, to appoint'. It , therefore, means 'one to be chosen', 'worthy of choice', or, 'that to which one is appointed or elected with due regard to his attributes and works'.
That man is entitled to the position of a Page 329
Brahmana who knows the Vedas, worships God and is endowed with such noble qualities as learning, etc. That man deserves to be a Kashatriya who is illustrious and devoted to the protection of the people in virtue of his ability to destroy the enemy and eagerness for battle.
The two arms of a Kshatryiya are to minister to the happiness of all and the possession of that excellence while which springs from good qualities; or, the two arms of a Kshatriyas are his strength and prowess. The valor of a Kshatriya increases by conferring the essence of prana, i.e. happiness on the people. The arrows of Kshatriya should always shine (prevail). Shata V.1.1: V.4.3: V.4.
[The word Ishavah has been used here as representative term for weapons and missiles.]
The stages of life also are four (in number), Page 330
viz. (1) the period of studentship, (2) the lie of a householder, (3) residence in the forest, (4) renunciation of the world. In the period of studentship one should devote oneself to the acquisition of true knowledge and training. As a householder one should make progress in good conduct and in acquisition of good things. As a dweller in the forest one should retire into solitude, hold communion with God and ponder over the results of knowledge. And having renounced the world one should devote oneself to the attainment of the highest bliss of emancipation and of communion with God and should minister to the happiness of all by means of preaching the truth.
In this way, a man should duly obtain, be these four stages of life, (the four ends of human existence) virtue, wealth, desire and emancipation. Out of these, in the period of studentship one should duly acquire such good qualities a true learning and good training.
The preceptor, i.e., the teacher of learning having invested a Bramahachari (student), with the sacred thread instructs him to remain firm in his vows and bears him in his womb, as itPage 331
were, like fetus for three days and three nights, i.e. gives him all kinds of directions and points out to him the methods of study. When he becomes learned and fully equipped with knowledge, the devas (the learned) assemble to see him. They gladly honor him and praise him by saying: "By our great fortune and the favor of God thou hast become learned amongst us for doing good to all."
"With the fuel of homa the Brahmanchari renders earth, the shining firmament happy i.e., with learning and homa he confess happiness on the living beings dwelling in those regions. By adopting the symbols of Brahmacharya, viz., the agnihotra, and the girdle, etc., and by his industry as well as by his virtuous conduct, teaching and preaching he makes all beings happy and strong."
The Brahmachari, who has made it his nature (as it were) to move in (i.e. study) the Vedas, performs the most difficult austerities, knows the Vedas and God, is the first (i.e.) his ashramas being the first point of order he is the embellisher of all the ashramas and remainsPage 332
firm in good behavior by the practice of virtue (dharma). The learned praise him who is Brahmajeshtha, i.e., who considers God and learning the greatest (most important) of all, is endowed with the highest happiness on account of his knowledge of God and emancipation and knows God." Atharva XI 3.5.3; 4 and 5.
"The Brahmachari glowing with the aforesaid knowledge, wearing deerskin, etc., with hair and beard which he was worn for a long time, and having been inititated obtains highest happiness and at once passes from the ocean of the practice of Brahmacharya to that of the Grihasthashrama, 'the life of a householder' and collecting all worlds that are fit for living in (i.e. performing righteous acts and dutiesPage 333
the result of which is happy states in future existence) preaches the Law (Dharma) aganand again (constantly).
Brahmachari learning the Vedic lore, acquiring a knowledge of the pranas, and of the sensible and visible world, proclaiming God - the Lord of Creatures, Who manifests Himself in many ways, entering into the womb of emancipation, i.e. living regularly in knowledge like a fetus, in the womb equipping himself thoroughly with learning, shining like the sun, and driving away the doers of evil deeds, the ignorant, the hypocrites of malevolent and mischievous disposition, as the sun drives away the clouds and the night, becomes the displayer of all the good qualities and the destroyer of the bad qualities.
By observing Brahmacharya a king acquires special ability to protect his subjects. By acquiring knowledge through the performance of Brahmacharya a teacher is able to take Brahmacharis (as his pupils) but not otherwise.
[The Nirukta I.4 says that an Acharya (preceptor) is so called because he forms thePage 334
character (achar), collects the arthus (dharma, etc.) or cultivates the understanding].
By observing Brahmacharya a maiden arriving at the age of puberty (youth) obtains a young husband of similar qualifications. She cannot wed before that age, or can she marry a husband of dissimilar qualifications. The ox and the horse are filled with a desire to conquer their adversaries - the other animals - in battle by means of Brahmacharya. It is, therefore, clear that men must needs observe Brahmacharya.
[The word anadvan, 'ox' is here used as a class name to signify all swift and powerful animals].
The learned by the force of Brahmacharya (but not otherwise), i.e., by acquiring learning, the knowledge of God and the Veda, and by performing the dharma-duty or virtuous acts - always overcome the pains of birth and death. Verily, the sun is able to illumine and please the organs of sense by observing Brahmacharya i.e., by obeying the laws (appointed) arya, i.e., by obeying the laws (appointed for him by God). Thus no one can properlyPage 335
enjoy the pleasure of knowledge without Brahmacharya. for this reason the remaining three stages of life viz., the life of a householder, etc., cannot be full of happiness without the observance of Brahmacharya. For, there can be no branches, in the absence of the root. The strong branches, fruits, flowers, shade, etc. come into existence only when the root is present.
Atharva XI - 3, 6, 7, 17, 18 and 19.
[The particle ha is used in the sense of verily]. Page 336
On The Duties of a Householder
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The following verses lay down the duties of a householder.
May all he meritorious acts that we have done as householders living in (towns and) villages, such as the dissemination of knowledge, the procreation of children, the promulgation of good social laws, and other acts calculated to promote the general weal, or as dwellers in the forest such as the meditation of God, the acquisition of knowledge by self-study, the performance of austerities, acts conducive to the good of the society and good acts of the senses and the mind, may all these have the attainment of God and emancipation as their motive and whatever sins we may have committed knowingly or unknowingly those we may destroy by the observance of the rules of the Ashramas (stages of life).
God commands that men should speak thus (to one another):-
Give me knowledge, money, etc. for my benefit, I also shall give thee in return; treatPage 337
me good-naturedly, with liberality and good manners, I also shall treat you in the same way; deal by me fairly according to the Dharma of business, i.e., sale, purchase, gift, etc., I also shall deal by you similarly. May all of us associate with one another in speaking the truth, believing the truth, acting the truth and listening to truthful speech. May we transact all our business according to the truth."
"O men! Desirous of entering the life of a householder marry according to your free choice and establish a home for yourself. Do not be afraid of performing the duties of a householder and do not tremble (at the thought). Aspire to obtain the objects (of the world) with courage and strength. (address the other householders as follows):- 'i come to make my home among you fortified with courage and strength, with pure mind and excellent intellect.'
A man remembers the house in which he ha lived with great comfort and their owners. He, therefore, invites to his house the personsPage 338
associated with such houses, viz, the friends, the relations, the teachers, etc., on the occasion of marriage, etc. as a mark of honor so that they may bear a witness to his vows to observe the laws of marriage, to his matured intellect and to the fact that he has married out of free choice after attaining manhood.
"O God! May I have an abundance of domestic animals, land, sense organs (i.e., vigor of body), knowledge, light and pleasure, etc. in the householder's stage by Thy favor. May the sheep and goats be friendly to me. Besides the aforesaid objects may I have in my house the excellent juices of edible things. O ye objects! i.e., those which have been mentioned above, I acquire you for my protection and pleasure. May, I by acquiring you, obtain the joys of this world and the bliss of emancipation in the next world. Living in the houses-holder's stage all men should promote the twofold happiness which has been referred to above."
[Here there is an anomalous use of the person (the 2nd person being used for the thirdPage 339
in connection with the objects, domestic animals, etc.) In the Nighantu the word shama is included among pada names]. Yaju III. 41, 42, 43, 50.
On The Duties of a Dweller in the Forest.
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These three are the shoulders (supports) of Dharma in all the stages of life, i.e. study, yajna -'the action portion' and charitable gifts. In the first stage the Brahmacharya lives in the family of the preceptor doing austerities, acquiring good education and performing the dharma.
The second is the stage of the householder. In the third, the dweller in the forest, keeping down his body as much as possible, keeping his mind involved in thought and retiring in a solitary place, should determine what is true and what is false. All of these Ashramas are the seats of merit and abodes of happiness.
They are called ashramas (resting places) because meritorious acts are performed in them. Acquiring learning and making oneself sure about God and the dharma in the Brahmacharya ashrama, putting to practice what one has learned and increasing and improving one's knowledge in the Grihasthashrama and then resorting to a lonely palace in the forest and there determining what things and acts are right and what are wrong and finishing the (duties of) Vanaprasthashrama one should become a Sanyasi.
There is a difference of opinion as to when a man should become a Sanyasi. Some say that one should become a householder after finishing the Brahmacharya ashrama and then should go to dwell in the forest and then one should become a Sanyasi. According to the others, one may enter Sanyasa after finishingPage 341
the duties of a householder without entering into Vanaprasthashrama. There are yet others who say that one may become a Sanyasi after duly fulfilling he vows of Brahmacharya ashrama and without entering into Grihastha and Vanaprastha ashramas. The inference is that the performance of the Brahmacharya ashrama is compulsory; because the other ashramas cannot come into existence without the Brahmacharyashrama. (Chhandogya II -23), 1 and 2.
On the Duties of a Sanyasi
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The fourth, the Sanyasi (one who has renounced the world), being established in Brahma, attains immortality (emancipation). Members of all the stages but especially those of the fourth (Sanyasa) desire to know God, the
Lord of all Creatures, by means of study, i.e. the teaching of and the listening of the Vedas and by means of acting according to their teachings. A man becomes a muni by knowing God by means of observing Brahmacharya, doing austerities, performing Dharma, faith, intense love, the yajna, imperishable knowledge and performance of virtuous deeds.
The Sanyasis renounce the world on account of their desire to see (realize) God - the most beautiful (lit. worthy to be seen). The excellent Brahmanas, who know God, are free from all doubts, possessed of perfect wisdom, dispellers of the doubts of others, and learned and desire to know God, but, they have no desire for a householder's life and children.
With beaming faces they say, "What should we do with children (i.e. we have nothing to do with them, the object of our desire is this most beautiful God.)" and thus renouncing the desire to beget children, the desire and efforts for gaining material wealth, the desire for renown, fame and honor and aversion from notoriety in the world, they [live on alms i.e. enter the stage of renunciation.] For, a man who possessesPage 343
the desire to beget children, has a desire for wealth, and he who has the desire for worldly fame and honor has the two other desires also viz., those of having children and acquiring wealth. But one who has the desire to attain emancipation and God is free from these three desires.
No riches of the world can equal the riches of the bliss of attaining God. One, who is established in God, no more desires the other honors of the world. He is compassionate to all men and renders all men happy by his true preaching. The only object, he sets his heart upon, is universal benevolence and the propagation of truth.
Chhandogya II. 23.2:Shat. XIV. 7. 2. Page 344
The Sanyasi, having fully ascertained all this and performed the Prajapatya yajna in honor of God, burns his sacred thread and the lock of hair, and with mind accustomed to deep thought and meditation enters the stage of renunciation. But those persons only are entitled to become Sanyasis who are men of deep and perfect knowledge and learning, who are free from attachment and aversion, and whose thoughts are always turned towards the good of al mankind and not those who are men of shallow learning and knowledge.
The Agnihotra of the sanyasis is the burning (i.e. the control) of their in-breathings and out-breathings, the turning away of the senses and the mind from sins and the performance of the true Dharma. The agnihotra of the sanyasis is not that the performance of which is enjoined upon the members of the other three ashramas, nor is it devoid of all activity.
True preaching is the Brahmayajna of the Sanyasis, the worship of God their Devayajna, the honoring of the wise their Pitriyajna, the gift of knowledge to the ignorant, compassion and non-injury to all beings, their Bhutayajna; Page 345
wandering about for the purpose of doing good to all mankind, free from pride, honoring all men by the preaching of truth to them, their Atithiyajna. Thus the five great duties of the Sanyasis consist in true knowledge and he performance of Dharma. But the worship the supreme Brahma, who is one without a second, and possessed of such attributes as almightiness etc. and the following of the true Dharma are common to all the ashramas.
Since man obtains those desires and those places which he desires with a pure mind (the inner sense), one desirous of glory should always respect and honor the sanyasis who know God. By their company and social intercourse with them and by honoring them alone can man obtain the worlds full of bliss and the objects of his desire.
No one should show respect to the preachers of falsehood, those who are devoted to their own self-interest (the self-seeking) and he hypocrites, for, to show respect to them ins useless and its fruit is misery and suffering. Mundak, III, 1.10.
On the Five Great Duties
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We shall now describe briefly the method of performing the five great duties, the daily performance of which is incumbent on men. Of these the first is the Brahma yajna. It consists in the learning and the teaching of the Shastras, the Vedas, etc. together with their angas (limbs) and meditation and worship (of performed by all.
The method of learning and teaching (the Shastras) is the same as described in the chapter on Reading and Teaching. The method of meditation and worship at the (two twilights is the same as given in my book named 'The Pancha Mahayajna Vidhi.'Page 347
Similarly the agnihotra also is to be performed according to the directions contained in the same book. We shall now quote the authorities on the agnihotra to performed in connection with the Brahma yajna.
'Ye men! Do ye always kindle the fire with purified substances, ghee, etc. and fuel, with a view to benefit others by means of purifying the air, the medicinal herbs, the vegetables and the rain water. And carefully burn in the fire the purified substances which possess the property of destroying disease, and are strength-giving, sweet to the taste and sweet-scented and fit to be burnt. Do ye perform the agnihotra always in this manner and through this act benefit all creatures.' Yaju III. 10
'Let a performer of the agnihotra entertain such thoughts: " I establish in front of me fire which is the messenger for carrying the objects to be burnt in homa to the regions of the air and the cloud-hand." Fore is called thePage 348
carrier of burnt oblations, because it carries what is thrown into it to other regions. May I teach other inquirers the properties of fire. Fire, by means of this process of agnihotra, diffuses bright qualities in the world of purifying the air and the rain water." Or,
"O God Agni! I acknowledge Thee alone a my adorable God. Thou impartest to us the highest knowledge full of excellent virtues. May I proclaim Thy glory. Do thou through Thy grace fill this world with divine qualities." Yaju XXII. 17
"God, the Lord and protector of the household and its inmates, adored and worshipped in the mornings and evenings, bestows on us health and happiness and most excellent objects. For this reason He is called by the name of Vasudana, the giver of wealth. O God! Preside over our imperial activities and our hearts. May we grow strong in body by proclaiming Thy glory.'Page 349
In this verse 'agni may be also taken in the sense of trerrestrial fire. [The verse would then mean]. "This material fire is the protector of the household and its inmates. It brings to us health, happiness and most excellent things of the world, if it is served daily in the morning and the evening. It is useful in our activities connected with the preservation of the empire, etc. May we grow strong in body by kindling fire by means of agnihotra, etc." Atharva. XIX, 7. 3.
The first portion means the same as the above. The meaning of the additional portion is:-Page 350
'May we by performing the agnihotra and worshipping God in this manner remain prosperous fro a hundred winters i.e. a hundred years consisting of a hundred winter seasons. It is our desire that by performing this act we may never come to grief and suffer loss.' Atharva XIX, 7. 4.
For performing the agnihotra one should prepare a vedi of mud or copper, and ladles and vessels for ghee, etc. of wood, silver or gold. Then one should kindle the fire on the Vedi with mango or palasha (Butea Frondosa) wood or with wood of other similar trees and reciting mantras should daily burn in the fire the substances mentioned before, in the morning and the evening or in the morning alone.
The verses to be recited at the time of the morning agnihotra:-
"With a view to benefit the whole world by obeying His commands we offer (this) one Ahuti (oblation) to God, who resides in everything that moves or is stationary, who is the illuminer of all luminaries and who is the life of all.'
'With a view… to God who, on account of His being the indwelling ruler of all, instructsPage 351
the wise in truth and who resides in the self of all.'
'With a view…to God who is self-luminous the illuminer of the whole world and the Lord of the universe.'
'With the view….to God, who pervades the luminous orb of the sun, and Jiva, who dwells within the dawn illumined by the sun's light and in the mental faculties of the Jiva and who is the self (i.e.) the enlivener of all. May He with His divine love and kindness make us wise by endowing us with the excellent qualities of knowledge, etc.
These four ahutis are to be offered at the time of morning agnihotra. Page 352
The ahutis at the evening agnihotra are to be offered with the following mantras.
'With a view to ….. to God who is all knowledge, the illuminer of luminaries.
'With a view…. God who is all knowledge, etc.'
The third ahuti should be offered with the mantra:-
'With a view to…God who pervades the luminous orb of he Sun and dwells in the night together with the wind and the moon. May He be gracious unto us and in His grace bestow on us the everlasting bliss of emancipation.'
The performer of agnihotra may perform it at evening with these mantras or he may perform the agnihotra once only with all the mantras.
'O God may this act of ours which we have performed with the intention of doing good to others be successful through Thy grace. We, therefore, surrender this act to Thee.'Page 353
In the fifth Panchika of the thirty first Kandika of the Aaitareya Brahmana the mantras for the morning and the evening agnihotra are given as Bhur bhuvah svarom svaha.
The following mantras are recited at the morning as well as at the evening agnihotra.
In these mantras the words Bhuh, etc. are the names of God. Their meanings have been given in the exposition of the Gayatri mantra Q.V.
Agnihotra is that 'in which something is thrown into fire for the purpose of purification of air and water or in the name of God or for the sake of obeying God's commands. It is obvious that when by burning fragrant, tonic, sweet, intellect -improving,
courage-imparting, fortitude-producing, strength-giving and disease-destroying substances in fire, air and rain water are purified, immense benefit results to all the objects of the earth and immense happiness to all the creatures on account of their coming into contact with pure air and water. And consequently, the performers of agnihotra, on account of the benefit to others, gain immense happiness through the favor of God. These are some of the reasons for performing the agnihotra.
The third yajna - the Pitri yajna.
Pitriyajna is of two kinds. One is called the Tarpana the other the Shraddha
Tarpana is the act by means of which we seek to satisfy and make comfortable the learned, the devas, the rishis and the pitris. Shraddha means to serve them faithfully and sincerely. These acts (Tarpana and Shraddha) are possible only when the learned are alive but not possible to serve them, they being absent, and also, because, the object of the act isPage 355
defeated and it becomes a useless act. The teaching is that this act is to be performed with reference to the living alone, because in their case only service is possible owing to both the server and the served being present at one and the same time and place. Those who are to, be served are three - the devas, the rishis, and the pitris.Text on the word 'Deva'.
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"O God! Purify me inevery way (absolutely). May the learned, who are devoted to Thee, and obey Thy will, who are good and wise, purify me by imparting me knowledge. May our intellects become pure by meditating upon Thee and by the knowledge given by Thee and may all creatures of the earth be full of comfort and happiness and pure through Thy favor. Yaju XIX. 39.
There are two characteristics, viz., truth and falsehood which divide men into Devas and manushyas. The devas resort to truthful act, the Page 356
manushyas to false speech, false thought and false action. Hence one, who renouncing falsehood accepts truth, is counted among the devas. One, who giving up the truth, resorts to falsehood, becomes manushaya.
One should, therefore, always speak the truth, believe the truth and act the truth. The deva who has taken a vow of truth becomes glorified among the glorious and the manushaya goes down to the reverse state. Shatapatha. I.1.1Texts on the word 'Rishi'.
Hence here the learned alone are the devas. Shatapatha III. 7.6.
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The verse quoted viz. Yaju XXX1. 9 has been explained in the chapter Creation.
The act pertaining to a rishi is the teaching of all the sciences to others after one has oneself learnt them. The Rishis are to be served by means of the act of learning and teaching. The servers who act according to the pleasure of the rishis become happy. He is called a rishi who having learnt all sciences, teaches them to others. Shatapatha I. 7. 5.3.
He, who takes up the work of teaching, is said to do the act pertaining to the rishis. he, who offers good things to the Rishis, the devas and the students and always devotes himself to the acquisition of learning, becomes learned and of great mental caliber and attains to the yajna of the highest knowledge. All men should, therefore, accept this as the act pertaining to the rishis. Shatapatha I.4. 5. 3.
Texts on the word 'Pitri'.
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All men should behave and persuade others to behave as follows:-
"Please my father, grand father, etc. and my preceptors, etc. with your service and acquire true knowledge, remain faithful and be contented with what is your own property. They are to be served and pleased with tone-imparting, fragment, pleasing and invigorating drinks, with nectar-like juices of various kinds, honey and self-ripe fruits, etc. Yaju II. 34.
'May the wise protectors, the pitris, who are of a peaceful and tranquil disposition and experts in extracting and preparing the juice of the soma plant, and also, who with the object of gaining happiness in this world believe firmly in God and who use and employ material fire for the performance of agnihotra and forPage 359
success in scientific pursuits, come near us and may we also always seek their company. May we, on seeing them approach, stand up and offer our respects to them by addressing them with a pleasant countenance: "Come, sir, and take your seat. Fathers! Be pleased with our service which is like nectar in this yajna of welcome. Protect us and instruct us in true knowledge. Yaju XIX. 58
'O Pitris! make us happy by giving us the gift of knowledge in this assembly or school, and accepting what we offer you in accordance with your learning apply yourself gladly and enthusiastically in the work of the gift of knowledge and the preaching of truth. May you move freely among us, being pleased with our proper reception and good manners. Yaju II. 31Page 360
O Pitris! we honor you for the sake of receiving from you the juice of the soma plant and the happiness of the highest knowledge, for the sake of acquiring from you the science of fire and air, for the sake of learning from you the means of livelihood for supporting life, for the sake of learning from you the means of livelihood for supporting life, for the sake of acquiring the knowledge of emancipation, for the sake of removing the times of distress, for the sake of showing indignation towards the wicked, for the sake of subduing anger and for the sake of acquiring knowledge of all kinds.
We honor and respect you again and again. Fathers! Impart to us a knowledge of household affairs. Fathers! We offer you all things over which we have control so that we may obtain knowledge from you the may we never obtain knowledge from you and may we never deteriorate. Fathers! Be pleased to accept clothes, etc. which we offer you. Yaju II.2.Page 361
' O Pitris! fill men with learning and accept as your pupil this Brahmachari boy, who comes to you wearing garlands to beg a gift of knowledge from you. May you so act that men of this world may be endowed with learning and good culture and excellent knowledge may progress amongst men. Yaju II.3
'May the glory, which is full of true knowledge and other similar qualities, of my living and learned preceptors who are devoted to religion, God and the good of all men, who follow the exact mean in matters connected with religion, God and such excellent objects as true knowledge, and who behave without such defects as fraud, etc. towards their pupils and disciples in imparting them true knowledge, etc.' remain firm for a hundred years, so that we may always remain happy.' Yaju XIX. 46.Page 362
'Let the wise pitris of the lowest, middle-most or the highest order in point of attainment of qualities and the pitris who are of a tranquil disposition, who have no enemy and who know God and the Veda, always protect us by imparting to us a knowledge of the affairs of giving and taking. Those pitris alone are to be served, because they, being in another region, are incapable of receiving our service and we also are unable to serve them.' Yaju XIX. 49.
'May we approach the pitris and obtain instruction from them in matters connected with the acquisition of such excellent qualities as learning, etc. and in beneficial acts in which the mind feels intellectual pleasure. They possess a knowledge of God who is, as it were, the vital fluid in the bodily organs of all. They always Page 363
make new discoveries in the realm of sciences and find new opportunities of doing good deeds. They know the Atharva Veda and are experts in military science, are pure and of mature wisdom, are calm and peaceful and are specialists in the performing the yajnas and other useful acts.' Yaju XIX 50.
[The words samanah and samanasah have already been explained.]
'The learned pitris who are presiding judges of courts of justice find everlasting joy in the administration of justice and dispense the benefits of the kingly duty viz., the protection of the subjects) become common among us. We offer our respects to such dispensers of truth and justice. May true and conscientious officers of justice always reside amongst us.' Yaju XIX 45.Page 364
'One can know God who is the bestower of all true knowledge and who has laid down its conditions, when one is actuated with the desire to make a free gift of knowledge, etc., to all and associates with the teachers who are well versed in the science of soma, take the greatest delight in matters of knowledge and other good things, are keepers of the science of soma and having themselves learnt all sciences are engaged in teaching them to others, and also, when one associates with the father, the grand father and other elders whose one object of desire is God and religion.' Yaju XIX 51.
Let all men obtain the objects of their desire by acting in this way.
'May the learned pitris, who are masters of Brahma Vidya, the highest of all sciences, and whose activities are always directed towards the greatest good and protection of all,Page 365
favor us with a visit at their arrival may we greet them in these words: 'O learned men! Come and be pleased to accept these things which are fit subjects of gift and acceptance. O pitris may we, under your protection, always serve you. After accepting our service make us the recipients of the happiness of knowledge. Remove the sin of ignorance and make us sinless, so that we may become free from all sin and guilt.' Yaju XIX. 55.
'May the pitris, who are the masters of Brahma Vidya and who taste the juice of the soma plant with their food, come in this place after having drunk the soma juice. May I have full acquaintance with the pitris mentioned above, who are givers of knowledge and other good qualities. By knowing them and associating with them may I acquire a knowledge of the all-pervading God, of His manifold world formation and of the imperishablePage 366
state of Moksha. Men should always associate with the learned because by associating with them alone can the obtain the state of Moksha from which they do not fall.'
[Here there is anomalous use of the atmanepada and the suffix of the first person is elided.] Yaju XIX. 56.
'O venerable Pitris! you are our invited guests. Occupy these comfortable seats of excellent manufacture. Accept our hospitality and renew your visits again and again and having honored us with your visits hear our questions and answer them. Protect us always be bestowing on us gifts of knowledge and instructing us in affairs of the world.' Yaju XIX. 57Page 367
'O Pitris! experts in the science of agnihotra and of Brahma Vidya, be pleased to come near us. Your policy is most excellent and you deserve veneration. Visit every house and every assembly for the purpose of giving advice and stay there for a while and then go to other places. Please accept our humble efforts to serve you and excellent viands that we have prepared for you.
Honor us with your stay at our home or in the assembly and makes us rich with the riches of knowledge, etc. which make men strong and brave so that we may always have among us brave commanders, strong in mind and body and rich with the treasure of true knowledge.' Yaju XIX. 59.
'May we always learn true knowledge and the art of living according to truth and justice from the Pitris, who are well versed in the science of electricity and devoted to the cultivationPage 368
of the sciences of air, water, geology, etc. and who move, live and have their being in the self-effulgent God - the illuminer of true knowledge - enjoying the bliss of the science of life by means of their bodily and mental vigor and make all men enjoy it. May the learned, and may we also, obtain true knowledge and wisdom, remain independent in matters which concern our own individual welfare but dependent in matters which concern the good of all men, so that God who shines with His own light and makes His devotees also shine with it, may, through His grace, keep the bodies of the learned strong and healthy for our sake and may we have an abundance of learned men in our midst.' Yaju XIX. 60
'O Men! Invite ye the Pitris who possess tact that and resources and know when to act and serve them even as we invite and serve them.Page 369
They drink the juice of soma, are wise, well versed in acts which men ought to do and are pleased with making and receiving the gift of the science of soma. May they take us under their patronage, so that by associating with them we may become the lords and protectors of the glories of true knowledge and worldwide empire.' Yaju XIX. 16
'O God! Thou knowest the Pitris who are present in our midst and whom we know, and also those who live in distant lands and are not here and for this reason whom we do not know. Do Thou bring about our meeting with them and bring to us the learned Pitris who are not here.
Do Thou supply our well performed yajna with articles of food and drink and other accessories so that we may be able to successfully perform the action-portion which is productive of prosperity in this and of happiness in the next world.' Yaju XIX 67
'O God! Bring us the Pitris, who having finished their studies, are now engaged in the work of learning and teaching and those who have mastered the sciences of physical geography, physiography and geology and also those who are full of courage and strength, are devoted to the cause of the welfare of the subjects, are presidents and members of the state assemblies, and are entrusted with the administration of justice. We offer our respects to such Pitris' Yaju XIX. 68.
'O God! Desiring Thee, we install Thee in our hearts as our Lord and as the dispenser of justice in our kingdom. O Lord of the universe! May we always hear and recite to Page 371
others Thy shining glory so that we may learn true knowledge and offer wealth, etc. to, and enjoy the pleasure of the company of, the learned Pitris who are actuated by a desire to preach the truth and disseminate knowledge. Do thou bring such Pitris to us.' Yaju XIX. 68.
'O God ! desiring Thee, we install thee in our hearts a our Lord and as the dispenser of justice in our kingdom. O Lord of the universe! May we always hear and recite toPage 371
others Thy shining glory so that we may learn true knowledge and offer wealth, etc. to, and enjoy the pleasure of the company of, the learned Pitris who are actuated by a desire to preach the truth and disseminate knowledge. Do Thou bring such Pitris to us.' Yaju XIX. 70.
'We offer good and other excellent things to the fathers who give us knowledge and are called Vasus on account of their efforts to make the science of immortality i.e. moksha their own or on account of their having acquired knowledge by observing Brahmacharya for 24 years, and their being engaged in tutorial work; to the grand fathers, who are called Rudras because after having studied for 44 years, observing Brahmacharya, they are performing the duties of teachers; to the Pitris the great grand fathers, Adityas, because observing Brahmacharya for 48 years they have become complete masters of knowledge andPage 372
being engaged in teaching others are shedding the light of true learning around them. O Pitris! we offer you our constant obeisance. May you feed and clothe yourself here and make yourself comfortable. [The word amimadanta has been explained before]. O Pitris! be pleased with our service and hospitality and makes us service and hospitality and make us pure by your advice and destruction of the defects of ignorance.' Yaju XIX. 36.
O Fathers! Grand fathers! And great grand fathers! Purify us gain and again by your words, thoughts and acts and make us do pure deeds by advising us to perform pure and holy acts and to observe Brahmacharya so that we may life up to a hundred years. [The verb 'purify' is to be repeated three times thus; O fathers! Purify us, O grand fathers! Purify us, O great grand fathers! Purify us in order that men may become centenarians and obtainPage 373
the full term of human existence. Here vasu, rudra and aditya are the names of the learned on the authority of the text of the Chhandogyopanishad viz. Purusho vava yajnah. Yaju XIX 37.
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We now lay down the method of performing Balivaishvadeva.
Balivaishvadeva is to be performed with cooked food not containing acids and salts.
Let a Brahmana perform daily the homa of Vaishvadeva in the household fire according to the prescribed rules in honor of these devatas with cooked food. Manusmriti III. 84. Texts on the performance of Balivaishvadeva.
As sufficient fodder is placed before a horse so we too in obedience to Thy commands,Page 374
O God, place the homa offerings before uninvited learned visitors. May we find joy in faith, in proper objects of desire and the glories of a world-wide empire. May we never transgress Thy will O God! And injure the creatures of the world, but may all living beings be our friends and may we be friendly to all and remain always engaged in doingmutual good. Atharva XiX. 7. 7 55
The verse quoted afte this viz. Yaju XIX. 39 has been explained in the section on Tarpana. Svaha to agni (i.e. self-effulgent God.)
[The word agni has been explained supra] Svaha Soma i.e. God the creator of the whole universe and the giver of happiness to all, svaha to agnihoma, the in-breathings and the out-breathings [The meaning of this word has been givenPage 375
supra], svaha to vishve devah i.e. the attributes of God which illumine the universe or svaha to the learned; svaha to Dhanvantari, i.e. God the destroyer of all disease; svaha to kuhu i.e., the power of remembrance or the Darsha yajna performed on the last day of the dark half of the month when the moon is altogether invisible, svaha to anumati i.e. the act of thinking over and inwardly digesting what one has studied after finishing one's education or the Pournamasa yajna performed on the day of the full moon, svaha to God, the protector of the whole creation, svaha to Dyavapritivi i.e. numerous blessings which flow from fire and earth and display are the highest skill of God and svaha to God, who gives us the joys which our hearts desire.
One should place upon the earth morsels from one's daily food for the dogs, for thosePage 376
who have excluded from the society of the virtuous, for the chandalas, for those suffering from horrible diseases, for the birds, crows, etc. and for the insects, ants, etc. Manu III. 92.
According to this couplet one should place six morsels on the ground. Having in this way divided the food among all living creatures one should secure their contentment.
Yajna, the Atithi yajna.Atithi yajna
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Now we shall speak of the fifth yajna, the atithi yajna. All joys reside there where the learned, who come to a householder's house uninvited, are duly served and honored. The atithis are said to be those persons who possess complete learning, do good to others, have their senses under control, are virtuous, are truthful in speech, are free from deceit and cunning and are always moving about. Atharva XV. 2. 11. 1.
There are many mantras of the Vedas which we can quote as authorities for our view. But having regard to brevity we quote only two of them.
'Service is due to the atithi who possesses the above-mentioned qualities, who is endowed with the most excellent attributes and whose time of going and coming is not fixed, and who arrives suddenly and as suddenly departs according to his own sweet will."
Whenever an atithi may happen to come to the house of a householder, he should rise to receive him and saluting him with great pleasure should offer the best seat. After rendering him proper service he should ask him: "O the best of men! Where did you stay (last night). O honored guest! Accept this water. As you satisfy us and our friends, etc. with your truthful advice we also try to please you (with our service). O learned man! We are ready to do your pleasure, order us to bring the thing you may have a liking for. O atithi! we are resolved to serve you according to your will and pleasure. We shall serve you in thePage 378
way best calculated to fulfill your desire so that in return for our service we may have the advantage of your company and by augmenting our knowledge we may secure lasting happiness.
After performing the homa with these mantras one should offer the Bali (oblation).
[The word namah (obeisance) is derived from the root 'nam' which means to make obeisance, to honor, to speak. It means that men obtain true knowledge by thought preceded by good action.]
Our obeisance to God the glorious, whose attributes are eternal; obeisance to the Supreme self, who possesses the attribute of dealing out impartial justice; obeisance to the supreme Lord the most excellent, who has the attribute of highest of knowledge; obeisance to the Most high, who is giver of happiness
to all. [The meaning of the word soma has been explained already.] May we make proper use of the gases which through the support of God sustain and keep in motion and order the whole word. We make obeisance to the all-pervading Deity (or may we utilize the waters of the earth).
[The meaning of the word adbhyah has been given in the explanation of the mantra Shannodevi etc.]
Obeisance to the Lord of the worlds; (or may we derive benefit from the great trees, the lords of forests which God has created with good qualities) Obeisance to God, of the highest glory, whom all men serve and who is full of all bliss and beauty; (or may we derive joy from the beauty of the universe created by God).
Obeisance to the power of God which provides happiness for all. Obeisance to God who is the author of the Veda which contains all the arts and sciences; (or who is the Lord of the universe.) Obeisance to God who is the Lord of akasha, the residing place of all creatures. Obeisance to all the learned.
[The meaning of the words Vishvebhyo devebhyah has been already explained].
May the creaturesPage 380
which walk by day or prowl by night never inure us, through the favor of God, and may they never oppose us. Obeisance to the power of God which sustains all the jives. Obeisance to the wise who, keeping the vow of Brahamcharya, are engaged in instructing us and whom we serve with food.
[The words Om pttrihhyah svadhayibhyah svadha namak has been explained in the section on Tarpana. The word namah denotes humility for one's own self and respect forothers].
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