pachai maamalai pol mene

Saturday, August 07, 2010

tribute to the mother of muses

मेधा देवी जुषमाणा न आगाद्विश्वाची भद्रा सुमनस्यमाना I
त्वया जुष्टा जुषमाणा दुरुक्तान्बृहद्वदेम विदथे सुवीराः II
महानारयणोपनिषत्  ४१    
medhā devī juṣamāṇā na āgādviśvācī bhadrā sumanasyamānā
tvayā juṣṭā juṣamāṇā duruktānbṛhadvadema vidathe suvīrāḥ
mahānārayaṇopaniṣat  41     1

മേധാ ദേവി ജുഷമാണാ ന ആഗാദ്‌ വിശ്വാചി ഭദ്രാ സുമനസ്യമാനാ
ത്വയാ ജുഷ്ടാ ജുഷ്ടമാണാ ദുരുക്താന്ബ്രുഹദ്വദേമ വിദധെ സുവീരാ:
മഹാനാരായനോപനിഷത്

May the all embracing goddess of intellect who is always showering benefits on us, who is always pleased with us and who is delighted by us her children,  be with us.  Oh Goddess of muse and supreme intellect, may we the silly humans who spend our days recklessly in worthless talk till you visit us and kindle our intellect, as a result of your affection and compassion to us which is manifested by your visit to our mind, become enlightened and also capable of expressing and sharing the Supreme Truth along with our heroic sons and disciples.

This is a prayer every guru makes to the goddess of intellect to kindle his intellect so that he is weaned away from meaningless harangue and is visited with Supreme Wisdom... He wants to share the wisdom with his disciples and sons. 
The most important aspect we have to notice is that the learned guru is well aware that his wisdom is flowing from the sweet grace of the Goddess of Knowledge and that he will be worthy of only empty speech if the Goddess is not in his company.
The vedas (this mantra will be found in rgveda and atharvaveda also)  have recognized the goddess, a woman, as the embodiment of all knowledge, even though we worship Krishna , Dakshinaamoorthi and Sankara as the preceptors of the world.  The personification of Mother Gayatri as a woman is another tribute to their lofty thoughts. The woman embodies the knowledge and the man disseminates the knowledge through the blessing of that great mother. The idea that prakruti the woman and purusha (male) the doer compliment each other to turn the wheel of universe is delightfully acknowledged by our ancestors.  No male chauvinism.
For the preceptor his own son and his disciple are on equal footing.  He prays for the acquisition of knowledge so that he can impart the same to his own sons and his disciples. The gurus eagerness  to attain brilliant disciples is also a glorious feature of our ancient traditions. Vide taittareeyopanishad...आमायन्तु ब्रह्मचारिणः स्वाहाः...
āmāyantu brahmacāriṇaḥ svāhāḥ .... etc.,
Finally one can notice with awe the complete lack of arrogance on the part of  the Guru... he simply attributes all that is great to the bounty of the Goddess of Muse.
This manthra along with one more mantra following it is worshipfully chanted like the Holy Gayatri by the devotees of Knowledge
[my learned friends must forgive me if I have skirted  the terse interpretation of the greats like Sayana because a manthra from vedas (the Mahanarayanopanishad is for all practical purposes a part of Yajurveda..) if translated verbatim may carry little meaning to the  non-pedantic readers of our generation.. but the essence is not lost, I hope]