Search This Blog

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The meaning of "Bramarpanam" Mantra - 1

Aum Bramarpanam brahma havih
Brahmagnau brahmanaahutam
Brahmaivatena gantavyam
Brahmakarma Samdhinaa
Aum Shanti Shanti Shantih
- Bhagavat Gita Chapter 4, slk 24

All of creation is a single, circular entity. This circular connection can be witnessed in nature when exploring water. Ocean water vaporizes into steam; this steam takes the form of clouds which condense and become rain; the rain becomes ice on mountain peaks which melt and become water; this water flows down a river and joins the ocean. This cycle continues. As water moves through this cycle, in its true sense the water is not different but takes various forms and gives us crops in the fields and turns into the Ganga river and other such sacred places. The changing forms of water bring to life flowing reality. Life is a combination of several such cycles and all of these cycles are part of one big cycle which we call “Brahman.” Brahman defined literally means ‘that which encompasses everything.’ Brahma- Karma is activity as a whole. The work is Brahman, the perceiver is Brahman, and the act of perception is also Brahman.

It is easy to logically understand the idea that everything is Brahman; however, there is a great gap between the knowledge of Brahman and the experience of Brahman. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna’s emphasis is not on the logical understanding, but more importantly, on the experience of becoming. The one facet that separates our understanding from experience is a thin wall within called ‘I.’ we hold on to this ‘I,’ thus we remain separated from the experience. Everything we are becomes our ego, and everything we do can also become our ego. If we do things for the purpose of strengthening this ego, then our actions will not be useful. Even the concept of ‘I see Brahman in everything’ can be attained to strengthen our ego. The idea that we say this is Brahman and that is Brahman and performing japa in this way will not make us realize that everything is Brahman. Realizing that all is Brahman does not progress in this way. It is not by sitting in front of a tree and repeating ‘This tree is Brahman’ that you will truly see the tree as Brahman because the ‘I am’ in the thought that ‘I am perceiving this tree to be Brahman’, is always the achievement. As long as I am looking at something as an achievement, something is lost and something is gained. There is not much difference between gaining and loosing; they are both part of the same duality. Without our knowledge, this duality further manifests in the form of Brahman and Abrahman, or God and the creation, or divine and devil. They are not two different things. In fact, even if we say that deep inside when we truly reflect, we find the Brahman in this world, and then we are acknowledging that there is a tree and somewhere hidden deep inside there is Brahman which is invisible to others, but I can see it. This is not the experience; the experience is that there is no such thing as the tree and Brahman. However, this concept of Brahman does not apply only to objects. Many people perceive Brahman to be person-like; thus, Krishna begins this sutra with the process of seeing, stating that even the process of seeing is also nothing but Brahman and this is Brahma Karma.

- to be continued...


No comments: