Showing posts with label mahavakya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mahavakya. Show all posts

Saturday, July 16, 2022

transcreating the mahavakyas

all this has consciousness as the giver of its reality. all is impelled by consciousness. consciousness is the eye of the universe and consciousness is its end. consciousness is brahman.

that being which is the subtle essence upon which the world is superimposed, that is the truth, such is the self, that you are.

om the word is all this. all that is past, present, and future is om. that which is beyond the three periods of time is also om. all this is verily brahman. this atman is brahman.

this was brahman in the beginning. it knew itself only as “i am brahman.” therefore it became all. it is the same with seers and the same with all people. to this day, whoever knows the self as “i am brahman,” becomes all this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Chinmayananda on the Vedic Path of Mahavakyas

The four great Mahāvākyas, found in each one of our Vedas, are as follows:

Lakṣaṇa Vākya - Prajñānam Brahma - Consciousness is Brahman. (Aitareya-upaniṣad. (3-1-3) – Ṛg-veda). 

Upadeśa Vākya - Tat Tvam Asi - That Thou Art. (Chāndogya-upaniṣad. (6.9.4 and 6.10.3) – Sāma-veda). 

Anubhava Vākya - Ayam Ᾱtmā Brahma - This Self is Brahman (Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad. (Mantra-2) – Atharva-veda). 

Anusandhāna Vākya - Aham Brahma Asmi - I am Brahman (Bṛhadāraṇyaka-upaniṣad. (1-4-10) – Yajur-veda).

If one closely observes these four great formulae, we can see, in and through them, the entire system of the ‘Path of Meditation’ which Vedānta preaches. 

As soon as the student reaches the Master’s feet, he has to define what is Brahman, and this statement of definition of the Eternal Truth – Lakṣaṇa Vākya – is found in the Ṛg-veda where it says, ‘Consciousness is Brahman’. 

After this objective definition of Brahman, the Master turns to the disciples and directly points to their bosom and roars the truth, ‘That thou Art’, meaning that the Consciousness which is Brahman is not yonder there, somewhere behind the clouds, to be achieved at some time as a posthumous reward, but it is right here and now to be experienced as this Ᾱtman. This advice of the Master to the disciples – Upadeśa Vākya – is found in the Sāma-veda. 

Now, the student, having heard the definition of Brahman, having understood from the Master’s own tongue that the essence in him is nothing other than Brahman Itself, retires to the solitude to meditate upon this objective Truth constantly and single pointedly until he discovers for himself, ‘This Self is Brahman’. This Mahāvākya or major text, since it is the road to Realisation for the seeker, is called the Anubhava Vākya. This is found in Atharva-veda. 

Having decided for himself, from his own personal experience, gained during solitary and tranquil meditation, that this Ᾱtman is the Brahman, the student comes back to the Master. To the looks of enquiry of the Master, the boy answers with the cheer that beams out from his limpid eyes of peace and serenity that he had intimately experienced the Truth, and afterwards he is living constantly aware of the Truth that ‘Brahman Am I’. This major text, is, therefore, called Anusandhāna Vākya.


from Vakya Vritti

‘Consciousness is Brahman’ (Prajñānam Brahma) is the definition of the ultimate Reality behind the ever-changing phenomenal world of things and beings. ‘That Thou Art’ (Tat Tvam Asi) is the teacher’s advice. The student in his seat of meditation realises subjectively in himself that ‘This Self within is Brahman’ (Ayam Ᾱtmā Brahma). Last comes the hallelujah that sings in the bosom of the now Liberated sage in the student and he in his sense of fulfilment and bliss immeasurable, confirms in a mad roar of joy and wonder, ‘I am Brahman’ (Ahaṁ Brahmāsmi).


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Mahavakyas 1: Prajnanam Brahma

Prajnanam Brahma (प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म) - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad 3.3 of the Rig Veda)

This One is (the inferior) Brahman; this is Indra, this is Prajapati; this is all these gods; and this is these five elements, viz earth, air, space, water, fire; and this is all these (big creatures), together with the small ones, that are the procreators of others and referable in pairs to wit, those that are born of eggs, of wombs, of moisture, of the earth, viz horses, cattle, men, elephants, and all the creatures that there are which move or fly and those which do not move. All these have Consciousness as the giver of their reality; all these are impelled by Consciousness; the universe has Consciousness as its eye, and Consciousness is its end. Consciousness is Brahman.


eṣa brahmaiṣa indra eṣa prajāpatir-ete sarve devā 

imāni ca pañca mahābhūtāni pṛthivī vāyur-ākāśa āpo

jyotīṁśītyetānīmāni ca kṣudra-miśrāṇīva 

bījānītarāṇi cetarāṇi cāṇdajāni ca 

jārūjāni ca svedajāni codbhijāni ca- 

asvā gāvaḥ puruṣā hastino yatkiñcedaṁ 

prāṇi jaṅgamaṁ ca patatri ca 

yacca sthāvaraṁ sarvaṁ tat-prajñānetram, 

prajñāne pratiṣṭhitaṁ prajnānetro

lokaḥ prajñā pratiṣṭhā prajñānaṁ brahma.

~Swami Gurubhaktananda

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Mahavakyas 2: Tat Tvam Asi

sah yah esah anima

aitadatmyam idam sarvam;

tat satyam, sah atma,

tat tvam asi

That which is this subtle essence

Upon which the world is superimposed;

That is the truth, that is the self,

That you are

Chandogya 6.8.7

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Mahavakyas 3: Ayam Atma Brahma

 Ayam Atma Brahma (अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म) - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda)

sarvaṁ hyetad Brahma ayam-ātmā Brahma.

All this is verily Brahman. This Ᾱtman is Brahman.


All this is surely Brahman. The Self is Brahman. The Self, such as It is, is possessed of four quarters.


1. Hariḥ Om. Om, the word, is all this. A clear explanation of it is (the following) – all that is past, present and future, verily, is Om. That which is beyond the three periods of time is also indeed, Om.

2. All this is verily Brahman. This Ᾱtman is Brahman.


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Mahavakyas 4: Aham Brahmāsmi

Aham Brahmāsmi (अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि) – “I am Brahman” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda):

brahma vā idamagra āsīt, tadātmānamevāvet, aham brahmāsmīti | tasmāttatsarvamabhavat; tadyo yo devānām pratyabubhyata sa eva tadabhavat, tathārṣīṇām, tathā manuṣyāṇām; taddhaitatpaśyannṛṣirvāmadevaḥ pratipede, aham manurabhavaṃ sūryaśceti | tadidamapyetarhi ya evaṃ veda, aham brahmāsmīti, sa idaṃ sarvam bhavati, tasya ha na devāścanābhūtyā īśate, ātmā hyeṣāṃ sa bhavati; atha yo'nyāṃ devatāmupāste, anyo'sāvanyo'hamasmīti, na sa veda, yathā paśurevam sa devānām | yathā ha vai bahavaḥ paśavo manuṣyam bhuñjyuḥ, evamekaikaḥ puruṣo devān bhunakti; ekasminneva paśāvādīyamāne'priyam bhavati, kiṃu bahuṣu? tasmādeṣām tanna priyam yadetanmanuṣyāvidyuḥ || 10 ||

This [self] was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew itself only as “I am Brahman.” Therefore it became all. And whoever among the gods had this enlightenment, also became That [Brahman]. It is the same with the seers (rishis), the same with men. The seer Vamadeva, having realized this [self] as That, came to know: "I was Manu and the sun." And to this day, whoever in a like manner knows the self as "I am Brahman," becomes all this [universe]. Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self.