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The Universal Person [Purusha Sooktam] ( Text, Transliteration and Detailed Commentary)

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Introduction: It is not in all. But some have it in them. And when it is in the bosom of any one, he cannot but search and seek, strive and strain, sweat and sacrifice until he understands what is the Reality behind this indescribably beautiful, yet incredibly wasteful, "surge of creation" all around us, lying stretched out as this Universe. In the past many had been tickled by this inquisitive urge to question and ponder over the meaning of life and the Source of the Universe. ...


It is not in all. But some have it in them. And when it is in the bosom of any one, he cannot but search and seek, strive and strain, sweat and sacrifice until he understands what is the Reality behind this indescribably beautiful, yet incredibly wasteful, "surge of creation" all around us, lying stretched out as this Universe. In the past many had been tickled by this inquisitive urge to question and ponder over the meaning of life and the Source of the Universe. Even now there are seekers. They shall always be.

Slowly, the different facts collected by these Seekers, developed into a Science of Life, and the scientists, the Rishies, applied themselves to their search with an all-dedicated inspired enthusiasm, often extending all through their life. What were revealed to them in their contemplation, they imparted to their generation of seekers, called the Sishyas. These disciples in their own way checked and re-checked the truths given out to them by their Gurus. In the light of fresh date made available, often the old deductions got rejected, and more reasonable conclusions were arrived at.

Thus, a body of verified "subjective" truths in time developed into a precise Science, and communicate their Contemplative Experiences and the consequent conclusions upon the meaning and purpose of life to the peoples of the world.

According to the Vedantins, the Universe of names and forms, as we now experience it, in our present plane-of-consciousness, has only a relative reality. This world is "real" as long as we are experiencing it through our present equipments of perception, feeling, and thought. The "world" is an interpretation of our equipments, of perceptions in us, the "fields of experiences" (worlds) can expand or shrink, change or transform and present a totally different picture.

The contemplative Sages, realised in their moments of utter meditation that on rising above these familiar equipments, one could "realise" the Universal Reality, the Self within.

When this experience-transcendental was confirmed and attested by many more Masters of yore, if gained the status of a verified and proved, determined and demonstrated, scientific fact. Thereafter, the anxiety of the Teachers was on how best this Supra-mental-state of the Absolute Reality could be explained an communicated to others, the uninitiated. All teachings can be done only at the intellectual level; and the intellect can comprehend only the world-of-plurality. This was felt as a sad snag in successfully explaining, defining or expressing the theme of the Eternal and Absolute Reality.

Yet, the Vedic Hymns and the Upanishads strove to accomplish this impossible feat with declarations, upon which, when the students mediate, they were lifted to fresh heights-from where they were uplifted again to new altitudes, by a subtler set of fresh declarations. The entire Vedic thoughts thus provide a flight of steps to raise the vision of the Seekers. From each loftier eminence achieved new vistas unroll to the growing understanding in the student.

It is in their pursuit of this subtle technique that the Rishies hitched upon the theme of the imperceptible oneness that governs the microcosm and the macrocosm: between the individual and the universe. According to the vedic masters there is an intimate identity between the part and the whole, and, the microcosm, the individual, is a miniature of the macrocosm the universe.

The infinite Reality when expressing through its own "Creativeness" becomes the God, (Eswara) and God, when He comes to Identify with this "Urge-to-Create" becomes the Creator (Hiranya-garbha.) and the Creator projects the world (Jagath). When the Creator comes to identify with what He had projected in His Creation, He becomes, alas, the Individualised entity(Jiva).

How does then Eswara, the Lord, the God, having become the Creator, project out the Jagat? What are the processes and stages through which the Universe had emerged out in this act of Divine Ygna, the great sacrifice? These are most poetically visualised and sung in the Vedas. This Sublime Song is the PURUSHA SOOKTAM-a Hymn of Praise adoring the Mighty Spirit Divine. This is the most famous among all other similar Hymns in the Rig-Veda.

To chant this hymn and to allow our mind to float along its pregnant suggestions is to uplift the inner vision to Dizzy heights of strange experiences in subjective unfoldment. This is even today a very popular Vedic chant and in all-important functions we can hear undits chanting it. The very tune in which the Hymn is chanted is fascinatingly haunting. With a clear understanding of the suggested ideas in the meaning of these mantras The meditation becomes complete. Please carefully follow the meanings suggested, the depths and heights indicated, and the stretches exposed by the rich words of the Sacred Hymn. To life up the mind on the wings of these suggestions is to soar into realms of indescribable visions of the Drama of Creation. The manifested world of plurality emerging out of the Infinite Brahman, as a divine super-imposition at first as the "unmanifest," and then as the "gross-manifest" forms, is in itself a spontaneous revelation. The Universal-Egg crackles and the throbbing mass picturesquely segments into the Cosmos of beings and things. There is an intense beauty of the Eternal Drama in this highly artistic presentation of the theme.

To watch the revelation of this Drama, scene by scene, in all its beauty and ugliness, divine is to stretch one's mind into its fullest, smoothening all its frills and cleansing them of all the their dust and dirt, held within its undisturbed folds. The ego dwindles. Selfishness exhausts. The vision clears. And a poise, melodious with the inner silence, comes to rule over the mind of the students. Such a tranquil mind rockets into the inner space to discover, and to finally realise, the ultimate Reality, the Brahman.




From the Book:



(Hymn to the Lord Supreme)

Search for the deeper meaning of life, and investigation into the essential nature, have been tantaising themes for the human intellect from the very earliest stages of its evolution. The heights of its soarings were proportional to the intellectual growth and the vitality of its functional ability. Each age came to its own conclusions, which were partly based on observed facts and partly on inferred evaluation of the surrounding phenomena. The following age, in the light of newly obtained understanding, found earlier conclusions, sometimes not totally satisfactory and so improved upon them, or often rejected the old theories, and left the entire problem again as an open question.

Just as science developed through stages of impotent pauses and sudden spurts of enthusiastic leaps, so also the story of man's philosophical groupings had periods of spectacular leaps into revelations, followed by eras of sluggish crawling through slushy confusions, rocky argumentations and debates upon non-essential side issues. This great grand journey, struggling along to the heights of Mount Olympus, at last reached its highest peak in Vedantic Self-realisation. From that pinnacle the Rishis saw the universe spread out around them, and through its names and forms they perceived the radiant Truth, Eternal and Immovable the Self.


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Item Code: IDG472 Author: Notes from Swami Chinmayananda Cover: Paperback Edition: 2004 Publisher: Central Chinmaya Mission Trust ISBN: 8175970790 Language: Text, Transliteration and Detailed Commentary Size: 7" X 4.9" Pages: 70 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 68 gms
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