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Eight Verses in Praise of Vinaayaka (Vinaayaka Ashtakam)- Class 2

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Translation & explanation of Verse-2
O divine source of the resplendent spiritual joy of the sportive phenomenal creation,
The luminous manifestation of all embodied values,
The inseparable bliss of what truly exists,
The grace that complements the aspiration of the devout mystic,
Of such perfection as the full moon in the summer sky,
The pure source of the spoken word, its resonating melody in kaction and its transcendental musical essence,
The destroyer of all miseries and the operational efficacy of the Primeval Energy;
Thou art my Lord whom I constantly meditate.

(“Kilad deva gothram kanadhema gaathram
Sadaananda maathram mahaabhakthamithram
Sharathchandra vakthram thrayeepootha paathram
Samasthaarthi daathram bhaje sakthi puthram”):
This verse ends with the clause, “thou art my Lord whom I constantly mediate”. The rest of the verse deals with the several aspects of the Lord which provide for the theme of the meditation. As we go on from verse to verse, the concept of a personal God of an anthropomorphic religious caricature becomes more and more revised and corrected.
The first epithet given in this verse is: Kilad deva gothram (Kilath+deva+ gothram). Kilath means engaged in various sports; deva means the shining one; gothram is the common home of the collective parental heritage. We have translated it here as’ “O divine source of the resplendent spiritual joy of the sportive phenomenal creation”. In the earlier verse, we have pointed out deva as an animated unit of the universe. If there is some devise by which we could see the spin of the atoms and the pranks of the molecules and the trillions of activities going on in our own physical body, it would be so amazing as watching so many tournaments of various sports, being staged in a cosmic stadium all at once. Suppose we isolate once unit of that sport from the rest, such as a team playing baseball. The positions of the participants and the polarization of the teams within the field are strictly regulated by precise rules of conduct, and that unit has an impartial referee who has an over-riding prerogative above everyone. He is an action less actor. When once the game starts, precision and determination give way to chance and randomness. A whole range of new freedom is issued in. But the freedom is to be enjoyed within the bounds of a pre-determined frame of reference. In such a sport, both the determination and freedom come from the impartial witness called the referee. This is one aspect of the Lord. When we think of that regulating principle, it is that which both initiates and controls all sports or animated games, from the function of a virus to the rule of the President of a super-power nation, or from the spin of an atom to the spin of a nebula. Here, in our meditation, we are not relating as an individual to our personal God, but we are finding our appropriate placement in the sportive field and becoming free to let go of ourselves, and also to appreciate the limiting rules of the game called life.

The next term here is kanadhema gaathram (kanat+ hema+ gaathram). Kanat means resplendent; hema is gold; gaathram is embodiment. In the Upanishands, the primeval cause of the universe is symbolized as golden egg. The glittering of the gold has a special place in the heart of man. The shimmering stars in the heaven and the glittering gold on earth are like counterparts of one luminous principle. Gold as a metal is of little or no worth at the utility level when compared to iron, zinc and copper. But when man elevates his mind from the world of down-to-earth utility to the sublime heights of aesthetics, the subdued glow of the gold comes on a par with the wink of a star or the captivating evanescence of the rainbow. In short, what makes this phenomenal world most attractive is the visualization of a numinous presence which manifests everywhere and in everything as a concrete fact of life. Again, this is another aspect we meditate on as the Absolute. After having experienced beauty, tenderness, love, care, compassion, joy and a thousand other forms of endearment, if one says, “I do not know God”, it only shows that person has a weird concept of God. We have translated that term in the above verse as the luminous manifestation of all embodied values.

The next term is sadananda maathram (sat+ ananda+maathram). Sat means that which truly exists; ananda is the experiencing of a dear value. Life is an admixture of joy and sorrow. Some modern philosophers, ranging from Kierkegaard to Jean Paul Sartre, interpreted the existential fact of life as a nauseating agony. The Indian philosophers, however, think of the existential foundation as an ever-present blissful state. They do not deny the fact that non-existent assumptions misunderstand and mistake the non-Self for the Self and the non-existent for the existent. Even the mind of the most wretched person subjected to a horrid situation of pain unconsciously knows there is hope for him and that the promise of try life is joy and not pain. His prayerful supplication is to push away the transient cloud of the darkness that comes in between his true existential Self and its natural bliss. If this were not the fact, everybody would have resigned themselves to the tragic horrors of a hypothetical fate. In the present verse, the Guru assures us that the Lord is “the inseparable bliss of what truly exists”.

The next term is mahaa bhakthamithram (mahaa + bhaktha+mithram). Maha means the great; bhakta is a person of one hundred percent identity with the qualities of what he dedicates on; mithram is one who offers the well-being of another without any reason. We have already said that in the present meditation we are not propitiating an anthropomorphic god-head. The several epithets attributed to the divine are the subject matter of our meditation. In the process of meditation, there happens an alchemy which is similar to the aspiration being reciprocated by grace. On our side, there is an effort to reach forward. At the rational level we attempt to bring clarity to the meaning content of the word we are meditating on. At the emotional level, we allow ourselves to be transmuted by the indiscernible forces of the unconscious ocean of totality into which we merge. At the unconscious level, we give up ourselves totally, for the unknown divine grace to free us from all pre-conditionings and wipe off all the colorations of the psyche that otherwise cause several prejudices. At the transcendental level, we experience the identity with the Supreme that is indescribable. Hence we have translated that term here as “the grace that complements the aspiration of the devout mystic”.

The next term is sharathchandra vakthram (sharath + chandra + vakthram). Sharath means the summer season; chandra is the moon, vakthram is face. The sun and the moon are symbolically alluded to as representing the intellect and the mind respectively. The intellect operates at the transactional level of the wakeful world. This refers to the world of logistics where the rules of syntax and the laws of correct thinking are relevant. The clarity of such a mind is of the intellect. But there is another world in us which is the storehouse of all the impressions that one has experienced in this life and probably of all previous manifestations of whatever has gone into the present life. It does not matter if we understand it as previous incarnations or the unbroken chain of the assumed scientific myth of the DNA and RNA that is presiding over the unconscious behavioral pattern and all biological functions of the present psycho-physical organism in the conscious, pre-conscious and the unconscious inner world of the individual. When referred to with the blanket phrase, mind, it can be poetically symbolized with the waxing and waning moon that has the alternating faces of the full moon and the new moon. Actually, the physical moon does not change, even a wee bit but the shadow of the earth cast on it plays the trick. Similarly, our own earth-earthiness casts a shadow in the ever-luminous inner consciousness and thus causes the varying shades of our clarity. When we are in full resonance with the reality of our Self, our experience becomes as resplendent as the full moon of the summer night. This is what we have given here as: “of such perfection as the full moon in the summer sky”.

The next term is thrayee pootha paathram (thrayee + pootha + paathram). thrayee means the three, which is an abbreviation for the three Vedas, Rik, Yajus and Sama; pootham means that which purifies; paathram is the instrument. The Supreme is considered to be the instrument which makes the word, action, and the harmony of both to be in perfect resonance with the function of the world order. According to the Chandogya Upanishad, rik is the word and Sama is the breath that transforms the word into music. Yajus is an act of sacrifice. Every action gains the quality of music when it is spontaneously coming from one as an act of offering to the well-being of all. A word can be harmful or benevolent. Hence the old proverb, “the bruise caused by a word will ever bleed”. Sophia of the Greeks, Minerva of the Romans and Saraswathi of the Hindus are all personified glorifications of the world that consoles, nourishes and enlightens one’s soul. In the present verse, we are seeing the Lord as one who generates the kindly word. It is no wonder St. John said: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The same is to be known as the rik. The whole theme of the Christian religion is God giving His own begotten son as a sacrifice to purify the sin of the world. Eucharist Mass also symbolizes Jesus giving away his consecrated flesh and blood to nourish the divine virtue of the holy spirit in all those who partake of it. Denying one’s own socially structured egoistic self and committing oneself to the dedicated service for the well-being of all is the act of purification one can bring into his daily life. With the illumination of the word inspiring and elevating the mind, and the actualizing of it through the act of sacrifice, life becomes the best symphony of God’s music. That is how the Rik, Yajus and Sama come into our life. We refer to the same here as the “pure source of the spoken word, its resonating melody in action and its transcendental musical essence”.

The next term is Samasthaarthi daathram ( Samastha+aarthi+ daathram). Samastha means every kind of; aarthi is misery; daathram is the remover or destroyer of miseries with grace. We are assailed by three kinds of miseries. In the world of transaction, our maladjustments in interpersonal relationship bring varieties of painful situations. There are all sorts of blocks between one mind and another. Even in one’s own mind, there are areas of total darkness. We are helpless before the opacity of these regions in our psyche. This darkness of ours can bump on the darkness of another. It may make us hysteric to belch, scream or snarl. Then there are areas of translucence. Here one may be tempted to get into the world of fantasies. One’s fantasy may not square with another’s even though the entire fantasy is wound around that person. That means, sadness of an acute kind following acts of rejection or presumed rejection. The dear nature of such traps can be discerned only when the mind is transparent. We are not our own masters to keep our mind transparent. Hence we turn to the very principle of the cosmos that always insists on the regularity of universal laws.
The second source of misery comes from the material world around us, the quakes and tremors, drought followed by shortage of water and food, the brush fires, tornados, typhoons and tidal waves. We do not know where these devils are hiding and what schedule they have to unleash their misery upon us. Here once again, we turn to the unknown with prayers of supplication, even though, at least in some cases, such miseries are caused by our deliberate intrusion into the harmony of nature’s ecology. An active way of meditating to ward off such calamities is respecting the delicate balance which nature holds out in what we understand as ecology.

The third source of misery is the seeming irrationality in the world-order itself. Man comes to the tether-end of his wit in understanding the riddles and enigmas of life. Here again, we turn to the Divine and put questions for which no answer is received. In the present verse, we are advised not to lose our heart against the enormity of these personal and cosmic absurdities. There is an overruling benevolence to which we can always turn to seek our consolation. That is what we have termed here as “the destroyer of all miseries”.

The next term is bhaje shakthiputhram (bhaje + shakthi + puthram). bhaje means that I meditate constantly; shakthi is the primeval energy; puthram means the son, and in the present context it means the manifestation. After giving all the epithets above, the Supreme is described here as “the operational efficacy of the Primeval Energy”, as the Lord. The supplicant is here assuring himself that this, the Lord, whom he is constantly meditating upon.

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