Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 8: Of Pŏŏrŏŏsh.

(Numbers in parentheses refer to the numbered notes below them, also enclosed in parentheses.)


What is that Brăhm? What is Ădhĕĕ-ātmă? What is Kărmă, O first of men? What also is Ădhĕĕ-bhōōt called? What Ădhĕĕ-dīvă? How is Ădhĕĕ-yăgnă, and who is here in this body? How art thou to be known in the hour of departure by men of subdued minds?


Brăhm is that which is supreme and without corruption; Ădhĕĕ-ātmă (33) is Swă-bhāb or particular constitution, disposition, quality, or nature; Kărmă is that emanation from which proceedeth the generation of natural beings; Ădhĕĕ-bhōōt is the destroying nature; Ădhĕĕ-dīvă is Pŏŏrŏŏsh; and Ădhĕĕ-yăgnă, or superintendant of worship, is myself in this body.

(33 Ădhĕĕ-ātmă, etc.—As Krĕĕshnă’s answer to the several questions of Ărjŏŏn has something mysterious in it, I will endeavour to render it more comprehensible:
Ădhĕĕ-ātmă—literally signifies the over-ruling spirit, by which is implied the divine nature.
Kărmă—signifies action, whereby is to be understood his creative quality.
Ădhĕĕ-bhōōt—signifies he who ruleth over created beings: the power of the Deity to destroy.
Ădhĕĕ-dīvă—literally means superior to fate; and is explained by the word Pŏŏrŏŏsh, which, in vulgar language, means no more than man; but in this work it is a term in theology used to express the vital soul, or portion of the universal spirit of Brăhm inhabiting a body. So by the word Măhā-Pŏŏrŏŏsh is implied the Deity as the primordial source. These terms are used in a metaphysical work called Pātănjăl, wherein God is represented under the figure of Măhā-Pŏŏrŏŏsh, the great man or prime progenitor; in conjunction with Prăkrĕĕtĕĕ, nature or first principle, under the emblem of a female engendering the world with his Māyā or supernatural power.)

At the end of time, he, who having abandoned his mortal frame, departeth thinking only of me, without doubt goeth unto me; or else, whatever other nature he shall call upon, at the end of life, when he shall quit his mortal shape, he shall ever go unto it. Wherefore at all times think of me alone and fight. Let thy mind and understanding be placed in me alone, and thou shalt, without doubt, go unto me. The man who longeth after the Divine and Supreme Being, with his mind intent upon the practice of devotion, goeth unto him. The man who shall in the last hour call up the ancient Prophet, the prime director, the most minute atom, the preserver of all things, whose countenance is like the sun, and who is distinct from darkness, with a steady mind attached to his service, with the force of devotion, and his whole soul fixed between his brows, goeth unto that divine Supreme Being, who is called Părăm-Pŏŏrŏŏsh.

I will now summarily make thee acquainted with that path which the doctors of the Vēds call never-failing; which the men of subdued minds and conquered passions enter; and which, desirous of knowing, they live the lives of Brăhmă-chārēēs or godly pilgrims. He who, having closed up all the doors of his faculties, locked up his mind in his own breast, and fixed his spirit in his head, standing firm in the exercise of devotion, repeating in silence Ōm (34)! the mystic sign of Brăhm, thence called “Ekākshăr,” shall, on his quitting this mortal frame calling upon me, without doubt go the journey of supreme happiness.

(34 Ōm!—This mystic emblem of the Deity is forbidden to be pronounced but in silence. It is a syllable formed of the letters ă, ŏŏ, which in composition coalesce, and make Ō, and the nasal consonant m. The first letter stands for the Creator, the second for the Preserver, and the third for the Destroyer.)

He who thinketh constantly of me, his mind undiverted by another object, I will at all times be easily found by that constant adherent to devotion; and those elevated souls, who have thus attained supreme perfection, come unto me, and are no more born in the finite mansion of pain and sorrow. Know, O Ărjŏŏn, that all the regions between this and the abode of Brăhm afford but a transient residence; but he who findeth me, returneth not again to mortal birth.

They who are acquainted with day and night, know that the day of Brăhmā is as a thousand revolutions of the Yŏŏgs (35), and that his night extendeth for a thousand more.

(35 A thousand revolutions of the Yŏŏgs.—Is equal to 4,320,000,000 years. An ingenious mathematician, who is now in India, supposes that these Yŏŏgs are nothing more than astronomical periods formed from the coincidence of certain cycles, of which those of the precession of the equinoxes and the moon are two. The word Yŏŏg, which signifies a juncture or joining, gives good grounds for such an hypothesis.)

On the coming of that day, all things proceed from invisibility to visibility; so, on the approach of night, they are all dissolved away in that which is called invisible. The universe, even, having existed, is again dissolved; and now again, on the approach of day, by divine necessity, it is reproduced. That which, upon the dissolution of all things else, is not destroyed, is superior and of another nature from that visibility: it is invisible and eternal. He who is thus called invisible and incorruptible, is even he who is called the Supreme Abode; which men having once obtained, they never more return to earth: that is my mansion. That Supreme Being is to be obtained by him who worshippeth no other Gods. In him is included all nature; by him all things are spread abroad.

I will now speak to thee of that time in which, should a devout man die, he will never return; and of that time, in which dying, he shall return again upon the earth.

Those holy men who are acquainted with Brăhm, departing this life in the fiery light of day, in the bright season of the moon, within the six months of the sun’s northern course, go unto him; but those who depart in the gloomy night of the moon’s dark season, and whilst the sun is yet within the southern path of his journey, ascend for a while into the regions of the moon, and again return to mortal birth. These two, light and darkness, are esteemed the world’s eternal ways: he who walketh in the former path returneth not; whilst he who walketh in the latter cometh back again upon the earth. A Yōgēē, who is acquainted with these two paths of action, will never be perplexed; wherefore, O Ărjŏŏn, be thou at all times employed in devotion. The fruit of this surpasseth all the rewards of virtue pointed out in the Vēds, in worshippings, in mortifications, and even in the gifts of charity. The devout Yōgēē, who knoweth all this, shall obtain a supreme and prior place.

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