33.1 : SHRUTI GITA SELECTIONS FROM BHAGAVATAM: X -87 - 14 & 15
Verse 14 (of the 87th chapter)
jaya jaya jahy-ajAM ajita dosha-gRbhIta-guNAM
tvam-asi yad-AtmanA samavaruddha-samasta-bhagaH /
aga-jagad-okasAM akhila-Sakty-avabodhaka te
kvacid-ajayA-'tmanAca carato'nucaren-nigamaH //
Oh Unconquered Lord, You are the One endowed with all the glories. Oh awakener of all the powers in the souls! You are the only One who can overpower the beginningless mAyA, your own Sakti, which keeps all beings ( with mobile or immobile bodies ) under its spell and which has taken on itself the three guNas along with their nature (of throwing souls into bondage). At the beginning of Creation, you with your mAyA as well as all by yourself you sport; so do we, the vedas, speak of You.
dosha-gRbhIta-guNAM - (Her) who has taken over the characteristic (three) guNas for their 'evil purpose
aga-jagad-okasAM - : aga, unmoving; jagat, moving; okasAM, (in the case of) embodied souls.
It is significant to note that, at the very beginning of creation, even before creation starts, the vedas have already recognized Him as the progenitor of mAyA. It is the beginningless Ignorance (anAdy-avidyA) that through the three guNas obscures the blissful state of the jIva and makes the beings unaware of their eternal state. You can do it because, we, the vedas say, know that you can be in both the states, the state of being in Your own Self and also the state of being in unison with Her. Commentator nIlakaNTha says this verse has encapsuled the entire store of scriptural knowledge.
Verse No.15 (OF Ch,X -87)
yata udayAstamayau vikRter-mRd-ivA-vikRtAt /
ata Rshayo dadhus-tvayi mano-vacanA-caritaM
katham-ayathA bhavanti bhuvi datta-padAni nRNAM //
The wise recognize this Universe to be brahman, because it is brahman that is the residual. It is from and into brahman that the universe emanates and dissolves - just as from earth earthenware rise and fall. Therefore when we glorify any God by words contemplated by the mind, and names spoken by the tongue the praise has to go only to you. Placing one's foot on a mountain does not mean that one is keeping his feet not on Earth.
etat upalabdhaM bRhat :- This visible universe is brahman
mano-vacanA-caritaM :- executed by the mind and the speech.
ayathA:- not (placed) on Earth.
vacana-AcaritaM (the essence of Vedanta) tvayi (is in you) ataH (therefore) RshayaH (the sages) mano dadhuH (fixed their mind) (tvayi = in your Ultimate Form).
It is brahman that is the residual after everything is gone. So the Cause is to be known, not the effect. Knowing the cause, we know everything that has to be known. Before manifestation, and after dissolution, whatever is existent is the Absolute Truth. The vedas in their text talk of different Gods, but these are only names and forms. All of them ultimately go only to the Permanent Absolute.
The beautiful analogy of the step on the mountain being the same as a step on Earth, is cited here. This analogy, to my limited knowledge, appears to be available nowhere else in the vast scriptural literature of Hinduism. That shows the originality of the vedas; they don't repeat what everybody else says; they have their own original way of expression! This verse by itself is enough to quell the doubting critic of the vedas, in connection with the mention, in the vedas, of the various gods, agni, varuna, vayu, soma, surya, indra, etc. The criticism is usually of the following kind. Throughout the vedic literature one finds that sometimes it is varuNa, the Divinity representing Water, sometimes it is agni, the fire-God and some other times it is indra the Lord of the divines that are eulogised with superlatives. For instance, cf.
agnir-mUrdhA divaH / : Fire-God is the King of the Divine World.
sUrya AtmA jagatas-tasthushaSca / : The Sun-God is the soul of the mobile as well as the immobile.
indro yAto'vasitasya rAjA / :Indra is the King of the mobile and the immobile.
Apo vA idam sarvaM / : Water is this Universe.
The earliest western readers who came into contact with Vedic literature propounded the thought process that during the vedic times it was all pantheism or polytheism and only later, almost at the end of the first millenium B.C. that the One God idea came up. This thought process may be a welcome line of research for occidental thinking. But if you look at the superlatives being used in the same manner and language for each vedic deity one cannot but conclude that the last words are those passages where each such deity is considered as only one expression of the many-faceted supreme Almighty. And here is the verse in the Sruti gItAwhich should put an end to such wild speculations of the uninformed reader.
Probably this is the place to bring in the relevance of 'ahamasmi brahmahamasmi' in the aghamarshana sukta. We shall, God willing, come back to this at some future time. Right now the reader may ignore this note by the author to himself.