Discussion in 'Yoga Forum' started by Speechless world, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. Speechless world

    Speechless world New Member

    Vagambrini is one of the most renowned seers of the Vedic age. She has seen only one hymn of just eight mantras compiled in the Rig Veda and yet she occupies so prestigious a place in the galaxy of seers. Unfortunately, nothing is known about her personal life except for the fact that she was the daughter of one Ambhrina. Regarding Ambhrina also nothing is known except that he was the father of Ambhrini. Whether he himself was a seer or not, cannot be said with any certainty since not a single mantra in any of the Samhitas is associated with his seerhood. Thus, here is a case if a seer, and at that, too, a female, having been born of an ordinary man. This fact enhances further the achievement of the daughter inasmuch as she rose to seerhood without any family background. As a matter of fact, most the Vedic seers had long traditions behind them as they were sons and daughters of eminent seers. In their case, it was, therefore, relatively easier to attain seerhood since they had already inherited much in the form of the legacy. But to rise out of shreds of intellectual and spiritual background, must have been a rare event. It, however, did not happen in the case of Ambhrini, and in most notable way as is evident from the mantras seen by her. Leaving apart the spiritual height, even from the elegance of her expressions as also perfection in her metrical composition, it is evident that she must have been taught rigorously and intensively before she went for her metrical utterance. It bears out the fact that female education up to the highest extent was in vogue at that time. If the parents were not so learned and enlightened as to impart their learning and enlightenment to their progeny themselves, they felt free and courageous enough to send even their daughters to suitable institutions away from their homes.

    In this respect, Ambhrini’s case is similar to and much more appreciable than that of the Upanishadic Shvetaketu who for higher learning was sent by his learned and enlightened father to some distantly placed institution and yet required to be initiated by his father himself after his return from there in mysteries of higher order while Ambhirini, on the other hand, got enlightened without having required any such feedback from her father.

    Institutions are meant for teaching equally all the students attending them. But, as a matter of fact, the level of learning in all the cases is always not the same. Some of the students excel in it while the rest stop either halfway or even as starters. The Vedic age was not an exception to it, as is evident from one of the Rigvedic mantras seen by Brihaspati Angirasa, which states that out of a number of students imbued equally with the powers of seeing, hearing, etc., while some remain at the bottom and some go up to the middle level, a few exceptional ones excel beyond the estimation of the teacher himself. (Rigveda, X.71.7)

    Vagambhrini seems to have been such an exceptionally brilliant student. This is very much reflected in the mantras seen by her. In these mantras, she speaks of her movement in the company of gods, such as the Rudras, Vasus and Adityas. These three are the most prominent groups of Vedic gods. Out of them, Vasus are terrestrial, Rudras are atmospheric and the Adityas are celestial. Even such an eminent seer as Vashistha once claims to have sailed in a boat in the company of god Varuna and to have enjoyed the voyage as one of his most memorable experiences. As such, how blessed Vagambhrini might have felt by having access to all the gods forming at least these three groups and to have moved freely in their company! This movement, however, cannot be anyway physical, nor might have been so of Vashistha’s. Indeed, it must have been purely a spiritual experience as it involved realisation of one’s inherence in everything and everything’s inherence in oneself. This gets confirmed directly by one of her statements that while, on the one hand, she is all-comprehending, on the other, she has been placed by gods different in things (Rigveda, X.125.3). This statement has the same spiritual bearing as the famous Upanishadic one contending that he who sees all the beings as inhering in himself and himself as inherent in everything, does not feel shy of anything (Isha Upanishad, 6). Not feeling shy of anything or anyone amounts to active participation in the activities of one and all. This is stated in the next mantra of the hymn where she claims to provide food to all, no matter whether they be simply breathing, as are the vegetations, or also be imbued with senses and mind. Moreover, she warns at the same time in the same continuation that those who do not have any faith in her, cannot but perish (Rigveda X.125.4).

    This mantra tells us several significant things about Vagambhrini. In the first place, it makes it clear to us that, in this capacity, she does not remain an individual human being. She could have spoken like this only when she would already have established her complete identity with the Provident of life-force, power of seeing and understanding of the world. It shows that she was a great visionary not in the theoretical sense of the term but on account of having realised her complete oneness with the Provident of the world in all respects. In the second place, having risen to that height in her experience, she now sees the actual role of the Provident in the running of the affairs of the world. It consists in providing existence to the inert, vitality to the vital, power of sensing the lowly creatures and that of seeing, understanding and conviction to humans. As such, any deliberate act of shirking from the admittance of that Provident has the danger of blocking the passage of providence of these powers to oneself resulting in the blighting of wisdom and understanding and thus inviting devastation to oneself at least spiritually and intellectually. Thus Vagambhrini draws our attention to the necessity of taking cognisance of the source of the vital, intellectual and spiritual in us. But for that cognisance, one lies in the danger of returning to the state of inerts amounting to inertia. Lastly, her address to the addressee as shruta and shraddhiva speaks volumes concerning the learning and conviction of her contemporaries. Use of the vocative shruta for the person concerned is indicative of the learning of him, on the one hand, and that of herself, on the other. Only a highly learned person can address one in this manner.

    Use of the word shraddiva, man of faith, on the other hand, shows that, in her view, learning in itself was not sufficient in making one understand the ultimate nature of things amounting to that of the Reality, she now feels herself to represent. Besides learning, what is required in this regard has been termed here as shraddha, faith. This faith, however, is not supposed to be infra-intellectual. On the contrary it ought to supersede learning and intellection. Necessity of learning to serve as the background of shraddha is evident from her address to the person concerned as shruta, man of learning. Requirement of the element of intellection, on the other hand, is implicit in her use of the word amantavah in the same continuation for those who are condemned by her to get ruined. Thus adequate learning, intellection and conviction, according to her, are essential for one to rise to the higher state of consciousness she has reached and to be in a position to understand the secret of the process under which the one and the same agency is providing vitality and the powers of sensing and thinking to beings at different planes of existence.

    The significance of this statement of the seer can be understood better if we read it side by side those made by some of the most eminent Upanishadic sages, including Sanatkumara and Yajnavalkya. In his teaching to Narada, the divine sage Sanatakumara, by way of raising the level of his meditation gradually along vak, manas, sankalpa, citta, dhyana, vijnana, bala, prana, etc., comes eventually to manana, shraddha and nistha culminating in the realisation of bhuman, the Infinite. In this gradation of states, while learning, mentation, determination, understanding, etc., are supposed to form the basis of shraddha, nistha is considered as the culmination of it by virtue of including to the state of ultimate settlement of the individual in the supernal consciousness.

    What Sanatakumara has taught so elaborately to his highly learned pupil, has been stated summarily by Yajnavalkya to his wife Maitreyi in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad at the end of his lesson to her at the time of his taking to renunciation. In response to her query regarding the path to immortality, he told her that it rests in taking lessons in thinking over and getting meditatively settled in the Atman which is the Infinite envisioned from the viewpoint of the individual through self-consciousness (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, IV.5.6).
    Continuance of the tradition laid down by Vagambhrini, Sanatkumar and Yajnavalkya until now, bespeaks of the amazing soundness of it. This is so because it is all-comprehending. It accords proper place in it to all the capabilities of the human mind. It is by making full use of mentation, intellection and will so as to rise to the supramental that one can hope to attain the state of consciousness Vagambhrini had reached.

Share This Page