Shri GurubhyO namah Shri ParamaGurubhyO namah Shri ParamEsHtHi GurubhyO namah
Japo jalpaH Shilpam sakalamapi mudraaviracanaa
gatiH pradakShinya kramana( bhramana) maShanadhyaahutividhiH
sapartaaparyaayastava bhavatu yanmE vilasitam
This is 27th Mantra from Soundarya Lahari
Every mantra of Soundarya lahari has a yantra and worshipping that yantra with the number of japas of that Mantra is said to give certain mundane and spiritual benefits.
For this 27 th Mantra an inverted triangle and writing in the middle Hreem seed syllable ion the gold or copper plate is the prescribed yantra and chanting this mantra 1000 times for 45 days gives attainment of Atmajnana (Self-realisation)
Now let us see the meaning of this mantra.
“Let my speech, even prattle, murmuring, gossip, also be my japa. jalpa has all these meanings. Let my movement of hands be your mudras, my movements, walking be circumambulation for you, my eating and drinking be fire oblations for you, my lying down be prostrations for you, all my enjoyments be my surrender to You and let these actions of mine become the important part of Your worship.
When we recite this mantra we are reminded of a similar rendering of Sri Shankara Bhagavatpaada in his Sivamaanasa Stotra which reads as :
Atmaa tvam girijaa matiH sahacara praNaH SarIram gRuham
poojaatE viShayOpa bhOga racanaa nidrAm samadhisthitiH
saMcaaraH padayO pradakShina vidhi stOtraaNi sarvaagirO
yadyatkarma karOmi tattadakhila ShmbhO tavaaraadhanam
You are my soul, Girije is my intellect, my friends are pranas, my body is your home that is your temple. All my enjoyments are my worship to you. My sleep is my deep meditative contemplation ( samaadhi) My walking is is circumambulation to you. All my speech is your praise. All my actions are your worship, O shambhu.
This also reminds us of Sri Krishna telling Arjuna in 27 th sloka in Chapter 9 of Sri Bhagavadgita,
yatkarOShi uadaSvaasi yajjuhOShi dadaasi yat
yattapasyasi kouMtEya tatkuriShva madarpaNam
O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away as well all austerities that you may perform, should be done an offering unto me.
There may be many more such references available in our ancient literature of true wisdom. We read them or hear them but we fail to put them into practice. This 27 th Mantra in Soundarya Lahari, yes each one of them are mantras only, there shall not be any doubt about it, conveys very precisely the method of mental worship called Samayachaara. This is explained in detail in 37 verses of Bhavanopanishad in esoteric language.
Let us get back to 27 th mantra which we are trying to understand. Whatever we do, whatever we eat,drink everything is the best form of the worship. Then it should be very easy, we need not do anything special to worship the Nameless & Formless GOD, in whatever the name or form we perceive it.
Let us see how easy this worship, which is the best & there cannot be anything better than this.
Once we realize and understand that whatever we speak, whatever we prattle is the best form of worship, what we will speak? Is it possible for us to speak nonsense, is it possible to prattle? Just think for a while.
“Shilpam api mudraaviracana”. Here the word shilpam does not mean the Sculpture, the creation of idol by an artisan in a stone, mud or wood. Shilpa is a creation of an artisan. Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada has used Shilpa to convey that the hand Mudras are the creative energy similar to that of Brahma using his hands to create the universe. Let all that we do by our hands in our day to day life be Mudras.
Now we know all that we do by our hands are the sacred Mudras used in the worship, that too those Mudras are used in the same manner as Brahma uses his hands to create the Universe. Don’t we think thousand times before putting our hands to do whatever our mind tells us to do.
Is it possible for us to walk into non sacred places, when we understand that where our we go and we walk is the circumambulation to the divine?
The next is, whatever we eat and drink is the Oblations offered to the divine in the sacred fire. Don’t we think before we eat and drink whatever we want to eat and drink. Fire in the Stomach which digests all that we eat and drink. This Fire in the stomach itself is a Sacred fire. The fire in the stomach is explained by Geetacharya in sloka 14 of Chapter 15.
ahaM vaiSvaanarO bhootvaa praaNinaaM dEhamaaSritaaH
praaNaapaana saMyuktaH pacaamyannaM caturvidham
Taking the form of Vysvanara and residing in the bodies of creatures, I in association with Prana & Apana digest the four types of food. Masticating, swallowing, sucking and licking are the four types of food classified with reference to how they are eaten. Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada in his Bhashya to this Sloka writes, the eater is the fire called Vaishvanara, the eaten food is soma.
Now we must surely refer to Mandokya Upanishad Slokas 3 to 5 which describes 19 mouths that eats. These Slokas were explained while explaining Manisha Pancaka of Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada. Let me just give essence of these slokas. Vaishvanara referred by Geetacharya above is the consciousness in the State of awareness that is in the JAGRATA AVASTHE. In this avasthe Vaishvanara has 19 mouths. They are Five Jnanendriyas, five Karmendriyas, Five pranas and Amtahakarana that is manaas, Buddhi, chitta and Ahankara. We are receiving food all the time, during jagratavasthe, svapnavasthe and Sushupata avasthe. through these 19 mouths. Chandogya Upanishad reads “Ahaara Suddhau satva SuddhiH”.That is, pure food provides Pure strength. Does it mean that one takes only Milk, fruits and all satvik food and drinks through the mouth where as other 18 mouths receiving all tamasic food and drink do we get Pure strength? The answer is No. When Shankara say that all that I eat and drink is Oblations to the divine in the sacred fire, it is for us to decide what type of food and drink we should offer as oblations through all these 19 mouths.
The next is lying down, that is sleeping state. The sleeping state is prostration before the divine. This prostration continues throughout the sleep. It is the calmness of the mind at the time of going to sleep that continues throughout sleep, that is in the dream state and deepest state of sleep. Such a calmness qualifies to become the prostration before the divine or becomes SAMADHI as mentioned in Shiva Manasa Stotra by Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada. How do we get such a calmness of mind while going to sleep? It is very easy. Whatever we speak becomes Mantra, whatever we do by our hands becomes Mudras, Whatever we eat and drink by all our 19 mouths become Oblations offered to divine, wherever we have walked through the day becomes circumambulation to divine, what else could be our mind other than being in the calm state at the time of going to bed to sleep? Then throughout the sleep it is nothing but prostration before the divine and it is nothing being in Samadhi.
Lastly, all that mundane enjoyments giving us pleasure is the worship and service we offer to the divine. That is to say, all our physical and mental pleasure is nothing but offerings to the divine. These mundane mental and physical pleasures give us only happiness but when they are offered as our worship and Service to divine, they give us bliss. Happiness is the temporary state whereas Bliss is forever and a permanent state. Permanent state of Bliss is JEEVANMUKTI. Mukti or Moksha is not after the life force leaving the body but it is during the life time one should achieve it. Srividya sadhana assures both mundane pleasures as well Jeevanmukti. It is Brahmavidya.
This 27th Mantra as I understand teaches us on one hand the Samayachara the jnanamarga to attain Jeevanmukti and on the other hand the Bhaktimarga, the Atmasamarpana to attain Jeevanmukti.
Atmasamarpana is Surrender to DIVINE. It is said that there are three levels of surrender:
- Whatever we do surrender them to universal energy, universal consciousness.
- Surrender our intellect and mind to Universal energy, consciousness. This is bit difficult. When we try to surrender the mind and intellect, it will not keep quiet, because it is analytical, logical in nature and does not accept such a surrender.
- Surrender all our senses. When we reach this level of surrender, we are one with the Divine. Divine takes care of us. When we offer all our actions to the Universal energy, it takes care of us. The entire burden on our shoulders is offloaded. We are free from all the results of our action.
When we say offload the burden, it does not mean inaction. The total surrender to the Universal energy guides us to act properly, which may not be seems to be right to our intellect or our logical mind. The real problem is here. Most of the time we listen to our intellect and logical mind and forget to listen to the voice of universal consciousness because our surrender is not total. There is no Atmasamarpana.
Let us make a beginning today, this minute this second to surrender ourselves, our mind and our senses to the Divine, the Universal Consciousness to get the best of the mundane pleasures as well jeevanmukti and feel that BLISS.
OM SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH