Monday, November 14, 2016

Chandra Ashtakam

कृष्णचन्द्र चन्द्रकृष्ण शङ्करस्य केशभूष​। कृष्णवंशमूलभूत कृष्णनेत्रशीतकार​॥१॥
प्रेमिकासुबोधचन्द्र राधिकाप्रियेश देव​। शीतकृन्मनोविलास शोभसेऽत्र पूर्णिमेश​॥२॥
सर्वदेवशीर्षराड्ढि सूर्यदीप्तिदीप्यमान​। वेदवाक्षु कीर्त्तिताभ सागरस्य पुत्त्ररूप​॥३॥
अत्रिनेत्रसम्भवाद्धि देवताऽपि देहिताऽसि। दीर्घकालजीविताय सर्वमानवास्यनिष्ठ​॥४॥
दैनिके हि जीवने च सर्वतोषहेतुभूत​। ब्रह्ममानसाद्धि जात मानसाधिदेवरूप​॥५॥
ओषधीश तारकेश रात्रिदेव चन्दिरोऽसि। रोहिणीश कान्त सिप्र यज्वनाम्पते च सोम​॥६॥
श्वेतवाहनाधिरूढ सिन्धुतोषणे प्रवीण​। शुभ्ररश्मिनाथ पक्षकृद्धि कौमुदीकरोऽसि॥७॥
तुङ्गिपर्व्वधीप विश्वपाल शुभ्रघोटरूढ​। पूर्णिमा च पूर्णता हि याति ते जगद्धिताय​॥८॥

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Variation in Reading

As far as 'mantra' (Vedic, tantric, bIjAkshar etc.) is concerned there should not be any change in letters or even in svara. Because change of svara change the meaning. For example, in यथेन्द्रशत्रुर्वर्धस्व​ svara has been wrongly pronounced, so the negative has happened. In tantric mantra or BijAkshara also there should not be any change even a minute change. 

However, in common language (laukika bhasha) there is no such restriction. As far as possible one must try to recite without variations. In olden days, even svara etc., were in practice in laukika samkrita also. Gradually they are disappeared and not in use now except 'hrasva' and 'dirgha' ('pluta' is also in use rarely).

Some shlokas have 'mantras' being hidden in shlokas. Such shlokas are to be recited as got from the elders as 'upadesha'. Some believe that mantras hidden in shlokas are to be recited as it is written by the writer. However, the purpose of writing shlokas interwoven with mantras is to enable all the persons who are deprived of reciting mantrs. Hence, the writers of such shlokas generally take care that even if slight variation is there, it would not affect the mantra or the reciter adversely.

For example, Ramayana is considered as the representation of 'gayatri mantra' (representing each letter with one thousand shlokas). In such works, the variations would not affect as long as the meaning remains unchanged entirely against the spirit of context and meaning.

However, in such situation and also in the case of mantras as well as such 'upadesha granthas' (the texts that are to be got from a teacher or elder who got it through a tradition), the 'uadeshaka' (who imparts mantras or texts) is treated as an authority. As Ramayana being one of the texts to be got from a teacher or upadeshaka duly observing the laid down formalities, the version as of the text as it is got from is considered as 'prAmANika'. However, for the purpose research one is free to study the variations of readings as the purpose is neither sacred nor parAyaNa. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Digambara. 1) Among the substances ‘dig’ (direction) and ‘ambaram’ (either) are two substances that could not be perceived. To perceive that one needs special eyes and concentration. So symbolically to have darshan of ‘shiva’ one has to be with the power of eyes. Hence, ‘digambara’ is a symbolic name to ‘shiva’ meaning one who could be perceived within himself/herself. 2) दिशति इति दिग् (दिश अतिसर्जने), अम्ब शब्दे स्वर्थे औणादिकः र-प्रत्ययः। So we get दिग्+अम्बर=दिगम्बरः। Meaning one who teaches through words (sounds/mantras) is called ‘digambara’. 3) दिग् एव अम्बरं यस्य सः=दिगम्बरः। one who has दिग् direction as cloth. Meaning not ‘naked’ but ‘formless’. Suggesting that the ‘formless’ is to be obtained by the ‘jivas’ who have forms. 4) The root दिश् also means त्यागः। Thus, we get the meaning ‘jivas has to renounce their ‘aham’ and to engage themselves in chanting ‘shabda’ (mantra). 5) Digambara is the source of ‘advaitic’ concept. ‘Hallow’ towards which one has to move leaving all belongings i.e. ‘aham’, ‘mama’ etc. Neither ‘I’ is true nor ‘world’ is true, everything has no forms and diffuse in a formless. This ‘advaitic’ concept is symbolized by the word ‘digambara’.

Thus, we can construe many meanings for the word ‘digambara’.


शिवः - Meaning

शिवः। Let us see the process of derivation of this word. There are several definition of the word शिवः। 1) शिवं मङ्गळमछ अस्ति अस्य इति शिवः, meaning one who has welfare, (or bliss or happiness). It could be interpreted as “as He has bliss, He gives bliss/happiness to us”. 2) श्यति अशुभम इति शिवः, meaning one who removes inauspicious/evil/misfortune. 3) शेरते अवतिष्ठन्ते अस्मिन् (सर्वे गुणाः/अणिमादिसिद्धयः वा) इति शिवः meaning ‘in whom all the qualities remain or the eight Siddhis such as ‘aNimA’. Thus, we have discussed the etymology of the शिवः as a whole.

There are etymologies that concentrate on each letter of the शिवः, i.e. शि and व। 1) शि is considered as a word though there one letter (consonant + vowel). This word शि is derived from the root शिञ् निशाने (meaning sharpening). So शिः means one who sharpens (our knowledge/intelligence etc.). The next letter वः is derived from the root वा गति-गन्धन-सुख-सेवनेषु meaning to move, to spread, to be happy and to serve. So वः means one who moves or spreads or is happy (and makes others happy) or serves. Comning these two words शिः and वहः we will get शिवः meaning one who sharpens our knowledge thereby makes us to move towards Him. 2) Another explanation to वकारः  is it represents ‘air’ one of the five natural elements. (न, म, शि, व and य represent ‘earth’, ‘water’, ‘fire’, ‘air’ and ‘either’ respectively). So वकार in शिव  has special connotation representing ‘air’ thereby the five letters represent ‘पञ्चीकरणप्रक्रिया’ (causing anything with the mixer of five elements0 suggesting that शिव is the creator of this world. Thus we get the meaning that शिवः is the master (kartA) of सृष्टि and लय । 3) शिव represents ‘शक्ति’ and ‘शिव’, thus the letter शि stands for ‘शक्ति’ and the letter व stands for ‘शिव’ himself as explained in agama scriptures. 4) In Agama scriptures, each letter in शिवः represents ‘बीजाक्षर’ that create power of positive vibration and this cannot be shown as etymology as it is based on self-experiement and experience. 5) शि stands for परब्रह्म and va stands for जीव, thus making the word शिव represents ‘ultimate soul’ and ‘soul (self).

There are a number of such explanation based on philosophical terms such as शिव represents ‘परमानन्द’ the ultimate bliss etc. Thus in the word शिव or in the mantra ‘namaH shivAya’, each letter has secret meaning in it. Few derivations/etymology have been shown here.