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Asya Vamasya Sukta of Rg Veda

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Dear members,

 

Asya Vamasya Sukta is a mind boggling riddle with Vedic imageries and

symbolisms that eventually speaks of Aditya as the Supreme Deity. Entire

“Asya Vamasya Sukta†having 52 rik mantras is a Riddle to most of the

upasakas. The underlying principle in Asya Vamasya Sukta is expressed in the

form of Vedic Symbols.

 

Some of the vedic symbols used in this Sukta are Chariot, Wheel of Chariot,

Spokes, Axle of the Wheel, Horses, Cow along with the Calf, Clouds, Flowing

Rivers, Thunder Bolt, The Great Eagle (Garutmaan or Suparna), the Sun, the Agni,

the Vayu. So, prior to serious study of this great “asya vamasya suktaâ€,

one should be thorough with the esoteric principles of these Vedic Imagery and

Vedic Gods.

 

Now, the concept of Kalachakra, Graha, Nakshatra along with the Vak (of 1000

syllables in Dahara Akasa) form the cardinal principle in Srividya. How, these

have to be correlated, has to be learnt from one’s gurunatha.

 

Some serious study has been done by Shri Kapali Sastry, Vashishta Ganapati

Muni and Shri Aurobindo on this Sukta. Several scholars and indologists did

extensive research and produced thesis papers on this wonderful sukta. Two of

such persons are Mr. George Cardona, Professor of Occidental Philosophy,

University of Pennsylvannia and other person is Mr. Norman Brown.

 

Ganapati Muni wrote wonderful commentaries on “Asya Vamasya Sukta†from

Sakta Perspective and “Parasurama Kalpa Sutrasâ€. Unfortunately some of the

manuscripts are ant eaten and some are lost during the heavy rains.

 

The Adyar Library has a copy of this sukta with commentary of Sayana and Shri

Atmananda. The translation was done by Dr. C. Kunhan Raja, Professor of

Philosphy, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. This book was published in 1953 by

Ganesh & Co. Pvt. Ltd., Chennai. Especially, the commentary of Shri Atmananda

is simply superb. He has brought out the esoteric sense of this sukta very

beautifully.

 

The presiding deity of the Sukta is Aditya that shines in Parame Vyoman

(Supreme Heavens) which is the forth feet of Gayatri (paro rajase savadom). The

other three feet being Earth, Mid Air and Heaven. They are presided by Agni,

Vayu and Surya.

 

The aspect of KALA CHAKRA or WHEEL OF TIME is symbolically described as

Chariot Wheel. The 12 spokes are 12 months or 12 zodiac signs.

 

This wheel of time is spoken of as being praised by 7 sisters. This Wheel of

Time along with 3 Navals (Trinabhi Chakram) goes round in Heaven and is lauded

by 720 sons in pair. 7 sisters is the symbolic representation of UNIT OF TIME

in terms of Ayana, Ritu, Masa, Paksha, Divasa, Ratri, Muhurtha. The 3 Navals or

Tri-Nabhi Chakra is the symbolic representation of 3 SANDHYAS. 720 sons in Pair

lauding the Chariot imply the YEAR (SAMVATSARA). Shatapata Bhramana says that

“samvatso vai prajapathiâ€. Prajapathi is in the form of ONE YEAR. This one

year has 360 days. Each day has one day and one night. So, 360 days x 2 (day &

night) become 720.

 

These 7 horses are also called Rashmis or Rays. This Sapth-Rashmi Maya

Purusha creates 7 planets (Saptha Grahas). Rahu and Ketu are nodes and

anti-nodes that are excluded.

 

The esoteric sense is brought out by Shri Atmananda as: Surya the Supreme

Purusha alighted on the Chariot having single wheel with 12 spokes and is drawn

by 7 horses. The 7 horses denote the Saptha chandas or 7 metres of Veda when

Surya is visualised as Veda Purusha. The number 7 also denotes the Pancha

Tanmaatras, Mahat and Ahamkara.

 

This forth pada is the " PARAME VYOMAN " where resides the VAK. The rik " gaurir

mimaya salilaani......sahasraakara parame vyoman " is this 4th pada. In its

unmanifested state it is 1. Alongwith Supantha and Nigantha, it is 2; Alongwith

Nama, Aakhyata, Upasarga, Nipaatha it is 4; alongwith 8 cases (with vocative

etc.) it is 8, Alongwith 8 cases plus Avyava it is 9. And it spreads itself as

1000 syllables in Chidakasa (Parame Vyoman).

 

This Supreme Purusha in the form of Surya that shines in Supreme Heavean is

hidden from Gods also. The 5th mantra of Asya Vamasya says that the TRUTH in

4th Pada is hidden (NIHITA) from Gods. This Truth is Aditya. This is the 4th

pada of Gayatri (Paro Rajase Savadom)

 

From this Gayatri, rest of the Chandas (meters) ie., Ushnik, Anushtup,

Brihati, Pamkti, Trishtub, Jagati came about. Ushnik is 24 (Gayatri Chandas) +

4 = 28. Anushtup is 32 (24+8); Brihati is (24+ 12); Pankti is 40 (24+16);

Trishtup is 44 (24+20); Jagati is 48 (24+ 24).

 

This Gayatri is symbolically represented as Su-Parna (Garuda or the Eagle).

This is symbolically told in a story:

 

In the quest of Soma juice, the 14 lettered Jagati chandas flew to the skies,

but was unable to get Soma rasa. It lost 2 letters and instead got the

sacrificial animals. And hence, Jagati meter is prescribed for Vyshyas in

Sacrifices. They get the wealth of cattle.

 

The Trishtup meter with 13 letters flew to the skies. It could not get the

Soma rasa. Instead, it lost 2 letters and returned with sacrificial fees

(dakshina). Hence, Trishtup meter is prescribed for Kshatriyas.

 

The 4 lettered Gayatri Chandas flew with a goat in the form of light. This

goat helped Gayatri to get the Soma rasa. While returning 4 lettered Gayatri

brought back the 2 letters of Jagati and 2 letters of Trishtup. It became pada

of 8 chandas (8 metered). Gayatri has brought Somarasa for Sacrifice which is

considered as a great act and hence Gayatri became most powerful.

 

This vedic symbolism is explained in some of the rik mantras of Asya Vamasya

Sukta.

 

The Su-parna (Garuda) is the Effulgence of Aditya which is Gayatri. Somarasa

is the Bliss. Aditya is Paramatman and Gayatri is the Agni. Aditya is

Brahmanaspati and Gayatri is Vak.

 

Su-parna is also called visualized as the Sun Supreme (Aditya) with its two

wings and Uttarayana and Dakshinayana.

 

This Vak is established in Truth which is the 4th pada (Paro Rajas). This

Truth is supported by Vital Energy which is Prana. Therefore, the Gayatri

protects the Prana (vital energy) to its upasakas. (saa haisha gayamstatre

praana vai gayaah tat praanaamstatre tat yad gayaamstatre tasmaat gayatri nama).

That which protects one’s “gayah†(vital energy in the form of prana) is

Gayatri. She protects Prana, Apana and Vyana.

 

This sukta has famous Rik mantra which is often quoted verse by most of the

scholars viz., “ekam sat vipra bahudhaa vadantiâ€. This is the 46th Mantra.

It runs like this:

 

“Indram Mitram Varunamagnimaahuratho Divyah Sa Suparno Garutmaan

Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti Agnim Yamam Maatarisvaanamaahuhâ€â€¦â€¦.(46)

 

As per Sayana, the Truth is one in the form of Aditya and as per Yaska it is

Agni. The same principle of Agni is perceived as Indra, Mitra, Varuna,

Su-parna, Yama and Matarisvaan by Jnanis (vipras).

 

MIND YOU “VIPRA†means “Jnanis or Dvijas who know the secrets of Veda

and who have studied Veda and assimilated the essence of itâ€. So, the persons

who sport with “sacred thread†on their shoulders are NOT VIPRAS. They are

just DWIJAS. And these VIPRAS who realize this AGNI or ADITYA as Supreme

Brahman are BRAHMINS.

 

Some scholars are of the view that this mantra speaks of Monotheism rather

than Monism. Shri Aurobindo says that there is only ONE VEDIC GOD and that is

ADITYA and rest are his attributes. But we are not concerned with this polemics

and debates and cling to the holy feet of Sayana for he is the torch bearer in

the dense forest of Veda Shastra.

 

The 20th mantra of the Sukta has wonderful symbolism of 2 birds (dwa suparna)

perched on the same tree. One of the birds is enjoying the sweet fruits of the

tree whereas other bird is just watching without eating. The mantra goes like

this:

 

“dva suparnaam sayuja sakhaaya samaanam vriksham parishasvajaate

Tayoranyah pippalam svaadvtyansnnyo abhi chaakashitiâ€â€¦.(20)

 

The bird that enjoys the sweet fruits of the tree is the Jiva. The tree is

the Samsara Vrishka. Whereas, the bird that watches is the Paramatma. Both are

perched on the same tree. This implies that both Jivatma and Paramatma are of

same nature but slightest difference is in the Upadhi.

 

The fruits of the tree are said to be “SWEETâ€. Because the Vishaya

Vasanas that we enjoy with our mind are sweet in nature. This should remind us

two names in Lalitha Sahasranama. They are “mano rupekshu kodanda†and

“maadhvipaanalasa matthaâ€.

 

The 24th mantra refers to “saptha (7) vaani†or “seven speechesâ€.

These are concealed in Cow alongwith the Chariot. Cow represents the Gayatri

– the Veda Maata with 7 chandas.

 

UPASANA OF “ASYA VAMASYA SUKTA†IS THE UPASANA OF THE SUPREME PURUSHA

ALONG WITH VAK AS GAYATRI. IT IS VEDA PURUSHA UPASANA. ASYA VAMASYA SUKTA IS

VERILY THE BRAHMA VIDYA PASSED DOWN TO THE POSTERITY BY THE RISHI DIRGHATAMAS.

IT IS SABDA BRAHMOPASANA. AND HENCE, DURING THE ABHISHEKA OF SRIYANTRA, THIS

SUKTA IS CHANTED WITH DEVOTION.

 

This is just a short outline of Asyavaamasya Sukta that has come to mind. The

detailed explanations of the Rik Mantras would be followed latter probably after

couple of weeks.

 

There is another sukta which is of equal importance to the upasakas of

Vanadurga and it is found in 10th Mandala of Rg Veda by the name “Aranyani

Suktaâ€.

 

 

With regards,

Sriram

 

 

 

 

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