SHRIMAD DEVI BHAGAVATAM | BOOK 7 CHAPTER 36

THE SEVENTH BOOK Chapter XXXVI

On the Highest Knowledge of Brahmā

1-4. Śrī Devī said:

"O Himalayas! Thus making one's own self attached to the Yoga by the above-mentioned process and sitting on a Yoga posture, one should meditate on My Brahmā Nature with an unfeigned devotion.

(How the knowledge of that Formless Existence and Imperishable Brāhman arises, now hear.)

He is manifest, near, yea, even moving in the hearts of all beings. He is the well-known Highest Goal. Know that all this whatever, waking, dreaming, or sleeping, which moves, breathes or blinks, is founded on Him.

He is higher than Being and Non-being: higher than the Wisdom, He is the Best Object of adoration for all creatures. He is brilliant, smaller than the smallest and in Him the worlds are founded and the Rulers thereof.

He is the Imperishable Brāhman. He is the Creator (Life), the Revealer of Sacred Knowledge (speech) and Omniscient (or the Cosmic Mind). This is the Truth. He is immortal, O Saumya! Know that He is the target to be realized.

Note. — The words "higher than wisdom" mean higher than Brahmā. (Brahmā is the highest of all Jīvas, higher than Brahmā means higher than all creatures. The word Vijñāna denotes Brahmā as we find in the following speech of Brahmā in the Bhāgavat Purāṇa)

"I, the Wisdom Energy (Vijñāna-Śaktī) was born from the navel of this Being resting on the Waters and possessed of the Infinite Powers."

Viṣṇu is called "Prāṇa," because he is the leader of all (Prāṇa-netri). He is called Vāk, because He is the Teacher of all; Viṣṇu is called Manas because He is the adviser of all (Mantri). He is the Controller of all the Jīvas.

The third verse lays down that Brāhman is to be meditated upon or that the Manana should be performed; as the second verse teaches that Dhyāna or concentration also is necessary.

5-6. Take hold of the Mystic Name as the bow, and know that the Brāhman is the aim to be hit. Put on this the great weapon (Om), the arrow (of the mind) sharpened by meditation.

Withdraw thyself from all objects, and with the mind absorbed in Brāhman, hit the aim; know, O Saumya! That Imperishable alone to be the Mark.

The Great name "Om" is the bow, the mind is the arrow, and the Brāhman is said to be the mark. It is to be hit by a man whose thoughts are concentrated, for then he enters the target.

7. In Him are woven the heavens, and the interspaces, and mingle also with the senses. Know Him to be the one Support of all, the Ātman. Leave off all other words (as well as the worship of other deities). This (Ātman) is the refuge of the Immortals.

8-9. In Him the life-webs (Nāḍis) are fastened, as the spokes to the nave of a chariot;

He is this (Ātman) that pervades the heart, and by his own free will manifests Himself in diverse ways (as Viśva, Taijasa, etc., in waking, sleeping, etc., states); and also as One as Prajñā in the dreamless state.

Meditate on the Ātman as Om (full of all auspicious qualities and who is the chief aim of the Vedas), in order to acquire the knowledge of the Paramātmān, Who is beyond the Prākriti and the Śrī Tattva. Your welfare consists in such knowledge.

Note. — This shows that Brāhman is the Antaryāmin Puruṣa. He resides in the heart where all the 72,000 Nāḍis meet, as the spokes meet in the navel of the wheel. He moves within the organs, not for His own pleasure, but to give life and energy to them all.

The Om with all its attributes must be constantly meditated upon. He manifests Himself in manifold ways in the waking and dreaming stews as Viśva and Taijasa; while He manifests as One in the state of Śuṣupti or Dreamless sleep as Prajñā.

He is beyond darkness; He has no mortal body. Meditate on such Viṣṇu in the heart in order to get the Supreme Brāhman, with the help of the Mantra Om.

The result of such meditation is that there is the welfare of yours-all evils will cease, and you will get the bliss of the manifestation of the Divinity—your Real Self within your Heart.

10. He who is All-Wise, and All-Knowing, whose Greatness is thus manifested in the worlds, is to be meditated upon as the Ātman residing in the Ether, in the Fourth Dimensional Space, in the shining city of Brāhman (the Heart).

He is the Controller of the mind and the Guide of the senses and the body. He abides in the dense body, controlling the heart. He, the Ātman, when manifesting Himself as the Blissful and Immortal, is seen by the wise through the purity of the heart.

11. The fetters of the Jīvas are cut asunder, the ties of Linga-dehas and Prakriti are removed (the effects of all) his works perish, when He is seen who is Supremely High (or when the Supremely High looks at the Jīva.)

12. The Brāhman (called Siśumāram) free from all passions and parts (manifests in the external world) in the highest Golden Sheath (the Cosmic Egg). That is pure, that is the highest of Lights, it is that which the knowers of Ātman know.

In the first respect He is meditated upon as Siśumara and in the second as Gāyatrī."

13. The Sun does not shine there in His Presence nor the Moon and the Stars (for His Light is greater than theirs, they appear as if dark in that Effulgence, like the candle-light in the Sun.)

Nor do these lightnings, and much less this fire shine there. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His Light all this becomes manifest.

Him the Sun does not illumine nor the moon and the stars. Nor do these lightnings; much less this Fire illumines Him. When He illumines all (the Sun, etc.,) then they shine after (Him with His light). This whole Universe reveals His Light (is His Light and its Light is His).

Note.—'The Sun, etc., do not illumine Him, i.e., cannot make Him manifest.

14. The Eternally Free is verily this Brāhman only. He is in the West, in the North and the South, in the Zenith and the Nadir. The Brāhman alone is; it is He who pervades all directions. This Brāhman alone is it who pervades. This Brāhman alone is the Full (that exists in all time the Eternity). This Brāhman is the Best:—

This (idam) Brāhman is alone the Viśvam or Infinity or Full (pūrṇām). This alone is the Best, the Highest of all. As the word "idam" is used several times in this verse, it qualifies the word Brāhman and not "viśvam,"

15-16. The man who realises thus is satisfied and has all that he wants to do and is considered as the best. He becomes Brāhman and his Self is pleased and he neither wants anything nor becomes sorry. O King! Fear comes from the idea of a second; where there is no second, fear does not exist. No danger then arises for him to be separated from Me. Nor I also get separated from him.

17. O Himalayas! Know that I am he and he is I. Know that I am seen there where My Jñāni resides.

18. Neither I dwell in any sacred place of pilgrimage, nor do I live in Kailāśa nor in Vaikuṇṭha nor in any other place. I dwell in the heart lotus of My Jñāni.

19. The blessed man who worships once My Jñāni, gets Koṭi times the fruit of worshipping Me. His family is rendered pure and his mother becomes blessed. He whose heart is diluted in the all-pervading Brahmā Consciousness, purifies this whole world. There is no doubt in this.

20. O Best of Mountains! I have now told everything that you asked about Brahmā Jñāna. Nothing now remains to be further described.

21. This Brahmā Vidyā (science of the knowledge of Brahmā) is to be imparted to the eldest son, who is devoted and of good character and to him who is endowed with the good qualities as enumerated in the Śāstras and not to be given to any other person.

22. He who is fully devoted to his Iṣṭa Deva and who is equally devoted to his Guru, to him the high-minded persons should declare the Brahmā Vidyā.

23. Verily, he is God himself, who advises this Brahmā Vidyā; no one is able to repay the debts due to him.

24. He who gives birth to a man in Brahmā, is, no doubt, superior to the ordinary father; for the birth that a father gives is destroyed; but the birth in Brahmā that is given by the Guru is never destroyed.

25. So the śruti says Never do harm to the Guru who imparts the knowledge of Brahmā.

26. In all the Siddhāntas (decided conclusions) of the Śāstras, it is stated that the Guru who imparts the knowledge of Brāhman is the best and the most honourable. If Śiva, becomes angry, the Guru can save; but when the Guru becomes angry, Śankara cannot save. So the Guru should be served with the utmost care.

27. So the Guru must be served with all the cares that are possible by body, mind, and word one should always please Him. Otherwise he becomes ungrateful and he is not saved.

28. O Best of Mountains! It is very difficult to acquire Brahmā Jñāna. Hear a story.

A Muni named Dadhyam of Atharvana family went to Indra and prayed to him to give Brahmā Jñāna.

Indra said:

"I would give you Brahmā-Jñāna, but if you impart it to any other body, I would sever your head."

Dadhyarna agreed to this and Indra gave him the Brahmā-Jñāna. After a few days, the two Aśvīns came to the Muni and prayed for Brahmā Vidyā, The Muni said:

"If I give you the Brahmā-Vidyā, Indra, will cut off my head."

Hearing this the two Aśvīns said:

"We will cut your head and keep it elsewhere and we will attach the head of a horse to your body. Instruct us with the mouth of this horse and when Indra will cut off your this mouth, we will replace your former head."

When they said so, the Muni gave them the Brahmā-Vidyā. Indra cut off his head by his thunderbolt. When the horse- head of the Muni was cut off, the two physicians of the Devas replaced his original head. This is widely known in all the Vedas.

O Chief of Mountains! He becomes blessed who gets this the Brahmā-Vidyā.

Here ends the Thirty-sixth Chapter of the Seventh Book on the Highest Knowledge of Brahmā in the Mahāpurāṇam, Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam, of 18,000 verses, by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.