“Mayest Thou (AUM)* O God, Who art (Mitra), Friend of all, (Varuna) Holiest of all, and )Aryama) Controller of the Universe, be merciful unto us. Mayest thou (Indra) O Lord Almighty, (Brihaspati) the Lord of the Universe, the Support of all, endow us with knowledge and power. Mayest thou (Vishnu) O Omnipresent and (Urukrama) Omnipotent Being, shower Thy blessings all around us.” RIG VEDA. “We bow unto Thee (Brahma), O most Powerful Supreme Being. Thou alone art our Omniscient God whom we feel in the interior of our hearts. I will call Thee, Thee alone, my true God, Thy will, as truly revealed in the Vedas, will I obey and preach. I will be truthful in word, deed and thought. Thou art my shelter. Mayest thou protect me – Thy servant – who speaketh nought but truth, so that my understanding be firm in Thy Will, and never turn away from it. Thy Will is Truth and Righteousness. That which is contrary to it is Untruth and Unrighteousness. Mayest Thou again shelter and protect me.** O Lord, be merciful and
*Generally written and pronounced as ‘OM’. I have, for brevity translated it into God, the detailed exposition of this word will follow later on. -Tr. ** This repetition is meant to emphasize the prayer for protection and shelter. Just as one, in ordinary language, says to another: “Go to the village go.” By the repetition of the word ‘go’, he means to say – “go at once.” Similarly, the devotee, by repeating this prayer for shelter and protection wishes to emphasize that he prays for immediate protection at His Hands, so that he may have firm faith in truth and righteousness and hate untruth and unrighteousness.
Grant this, my prayer, for which I shall feel grateful unto Thee for ever and ever. Peace! Peace!! Peace!!!*
(In other words) Mayest Thou free us from all pain and grief, and always guide us to the path of rectitude which leads to true happiness, because Thou alone art true Bliss. Thou showerth blessings on all and bestoweth beatitude on the truly righteous seekers after Emancipation.** Mayest thou, O Lord! Thyself of Thy grace, reveal Thyself in the hearts of all men whereby all may avoid sin and vice, and follow truth and virtue, and consequently, be freed from pain and sorrow, and enjoy supreme bliss.
THE HIGHEST NAME OF GOD; AND OTHER NAMES
‘ is the highest name of God; it is composed of three letters, A, U, M. This one name comprises many other names of God. Thus, briefly:- A stands for Viraat, Agni and Vishwa, etc. . U stands for Hiranyagarbha, Vaayu and Tajjas, etc. M stands for I’shwara, A’ditya and Prajnaa, etc.Vedas and other true Shastraas, that whatever they treat of God; all these names stand for Him.
There are no gods. The multitude of names like Indra signify not different Divine Beings but different aspects of one Absolute Existence.
Objector*** – Why not take them to stand for other object? Do they not also mean earth, heaven, devtaas as Indra,and, in the Medical Science drugs such as green ginger.
Author.~ Yes, they do, but they also mean Gods.
Objector – We believe that they only mean gods. Why do you not believe the me?* The word peace is repeated three times because the devotee prays unto God to rid him of all kinds of pain and sorrow which is threefold viz:- Adhaymika – Pertaining to body and soul as ignorance, lack of true knowledge, passions and hatred, physical pain and disease (as fever). Adhidaivkea – Arising from the outside world, animate or inanimate; as from one’s enemies, tigers, and snakes, etc. Adhidaivika – Arising from natural causes, such as excessive rains, extremes of heat and cold, or from mental worry or disquietude and distraction of the senses. ** The words Emancipation, Liberation, Salvation, Final Beatitude and Supreme Bliss are used synonymously in this book. -Tr. *** Throughout this book wherever any subject is treated in the form of questions and answers , I have for various reasons, used the letters O and A instead of the customary Q and A. O in such places stands for Imaginary Objector while A for the Author. – Tr.
Author ~ What proofs have you to support this assertion?
Objector – They signify devataas* because the devtaas are manifest and also good.
Author ~ Is not God also Manifest? Is there any one holier than, or superior to, Him? Why do you not believer that these names signify God as well? When God is Manifest and Incomparable, how can there be any one superior to Him? There are many objections against your belief. Suppose, a man placed food before another and requested him to eat. Now, if that man were to reject that food look for it elsewhere, he would not be considered wise; because he rejects what he has and runs after what he has not.
The same is true of your statement, because you refuse to accept that the names like Virat, signify God – Who is Real and Whose existence is proved by every possible evidence – as well as the real tangible universe, etc.; whilst you readily believe that they mean gods – who neither substantiate your statement by authority nor by argument.
The subject-matter should determine the meanings of these words. For instance, a man said to his servant; “Get me saindhava.” Now that man in order to find out what his master wants, ought to take time and place into consideration; because saindhava means salt as well as a horse. If it be meal time, he ought to bring salt; while, if it be time for going out, he should bring the horse. If, however, he brings the horse at meal time and salt when his master wants to go out, his master will get angry and will, most likely, say: “O you ignorant fellow! What was the object of your bringing the horse at meal time, and salt when I was going out; you are ignorant of the fitness of things.
You have ought to have taken time and place into consideration, and done what suited the occasion. You have failed to do that, you are, therefore, senseless. Get away from me.” It is clear, therefore, that a word ought to be taken to mean what fits in with the occasion, circumstances, and the subject under discussion.
VEDIC AND OTHER HOLY TEXTS IN SUPPORT OF THIS VIEW
We quote the following authorities from the Vedas and the Upnishads in support of the statement of AUM and such other words, as Viraat, are names of God.
* Generally, though wrongly, translated into gods by the orthodox pundits and European scholars. -Tr.
AUM is the Great God Who is omnipresent (like ether).” YAJUR VEDA : .
“He alone, whose name is AUM, Who is Immortal, is worthy of our adoration and none other.” CHHANDOGYA UPANISHAD
“All the Vedas and the Shastraas declare AUM as the primary and natural name of God. All others are His secondary names.” MANDUK UPANISHAD :.
“He Whom all the Vedas declare worthy of homage, Whom all devotion and righteous actions lead to, and for Whose realization, the life of Brahmacharya(chastity) is led, is called AUM. KATH UPANISHAD :.
“He , Who is the Teacher of all, subtler than the subtler, Resplendent, Who can be known through understanding begotten of Samadhi, i.e., ‘superior condition’ of the soul, when the mind is perfectly concentrated by means of psychical practices, is the Great Being.”
“Being All-glorious, some call Him Agni. Being the Embodiment of all true knowledge, other call Him Manu. Other call Him Indra, being All-powerful and Protector of all. Others Pranaa, as the source of all-life. Others, again, call Him Brahma,* the Greatest of all beings.” MANU : , .
* None of God’s names are meaningless. They are all connotative, unlike what we see in the world, where a poor man is very often named Dhanpati – lord of riches.
“He is called Brahma – the Creator* of the Universe; Vishnu – All-pervading; Rudra – Punisher of the wicked, whom he causes to weep; Shiva – Blissful and Benefactor of all; Akshara – Immortal, Omnipresent; Swaraati – Self-effulgent; Kaalaagni – Cause of the dissolution** of the world and Regulator of time; Chandramaa – the true Source of Happiness.” KAIVALYA UPNISHAD.
“He is One, but the wise call Him by different names; such as, Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni,*** Divya – One who pervades all the luminous bodies, the source of light; Suparnaa – the Protector and Preserver of the Universe, Whose work are perfect; Matrishwaa – Powerful like wind; Garutmaan – Mighty by nature.**** ” RIG VEDA MANDAL -, .
“He is Bhumi – the abode of all, etc.” YAJUR VEDA, : .
“He is Indra, etc.” ATHARVA VEDA :,,.
“We bow unto thee, O praana – who controls and governs the whole universe, just as the vital forces in the body control and govern the whole physical system, etc.” SAMA VEDA :, , – ,,.
* The word Creator used in the sense of Maker as according to Vedic Philosophy there is no such thing as creation or the evolution of something out of nothing. – Tr. ** He reduces all this visible and invisible world into its primary elementary condition at the end of creation, or one cycle of evolutionary existence. -Tr. *** The meanings of these names have been explained on the first page. – Tr. **** Other names we shall explain later on. – Tr.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE TERMS
From the consideration of the meanings of these quotations it must have become clear to the reader that AUM and such other names , as Agni, primarily only signify God as is evidenced by the expositions of the grammarians, philologists, etymologists, and with one of the primary, secondary and tertiary Brahamnas,* Sutrakras,** and other great teachers, sages and seers.
It, therefore, behoves us all to believe the same. But it should be borne in mind that AUM is the name of God only (and of no other object – material or spiritual), whilst the application of such names as Agni to God is determined by two factors, viz., the subject under treatment and the adjectives that qualify them.
In other words, these names signify God in prayers, meditations, communions, or where such , adjectives as Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy, Eternal and Creator of the universe qualify them.
Whilst, where the things under discussion are mentioned as created, protected, or sustained, disintegrated or where such qualifying words as finite, visible are used, they cannot be taken to signify God; because He is neither subject to such changes as evolution or dissolution, nor is He finite or visible. Therefore such names as Virat, Agni ( as in the following quotations) signify material objects of the universe:- “Then was created Virat, etc.” “Thereafter was created Bhumi – earth.” YAJUR VEDA .
* Commentaries on the Vedas by ancient sages. – Tr. **Books on morals and domestic duties of man, etc. – Tr.
“Then did the Supreme Spirit manifest Akaasha.* From Akaasha proceeded Vaayu and Agni from Vaayu, etc.” TAITREYA UPANISHAD.
“Thus it is clear that these words ought to be understood to mean God where they have such qualifying words as Omniscient, etc.; but, where desires, passions, feelings or pleasure or pain, finite knowledge and activity are spoken of these words signify the soul; where such words, as created, dissolved material, dead, inert, are found, they mean material objects as the sun, the earth. Now, we shall give the etymology of such words as Virat and show how they signify God:-
AN ETYMOLOGICAL EXPOSITION OF THE VARIOUS NAMES OF GOD
. VIRAT (from the root Rajri to illuminate, with the prefix vi and suffix kwip added to it) signifies God, because He illuminates this multiform universe.
. Agni (from the root anchu which signifies gati and worship. Gati means to know, to move or go, to realize) connotes God, because He is all-knowledge, Omniscient and worthy of adoration, fit subject to be known, sought after and realized.
. Vishwa (from vish to reside) means God, because all the world and the worldly objects dwell in Him and He resides in all of them.
* See chapter , where this quotation is fully translated. -Tr.
. Hiranyagarbha (Hiranya – light and garbha – source) means One who is the source and support of all light and luminous bodies such as the sun. This is also substantiated by Yajur Veda, which says :- ” In the beginning was Hiranyagarbha – the One Lord of the creation. He sustains the sun and the earth. We adore Him – the all Blissful Being.” YAJUR VEDA : .
. Vaayu (from the root Va to move, to kill) means One who is the life and support of the Universe, the cause of its dissolution, mightier than the mightiest.
. Taijas (from Teja to shine or enlighten) is One who is Resplendent and gives light to the sun and other luminous bodies.
. Ishwar (from Ish – power, knowledge) is One whose knowledge and power are infinite.
. A’ditya (from a – not, do – to break, decay) is One who never dies or decays – is Immortal.
. Prajna (from Pre – perfectly and Jna – to know) One whose knowledge is perfect, Who is Omniscient.
. AUM (See the above).
Thus we have briefly described the meanings of the three letters A, U, M of the word AUM. Besides those already mentioned it also cover other names of God. Similarly Mitra, Varuna,, and other names occurring in the mantra quoted at the head of this chapter are all names of God, because He alone is worthy of homage and adoration, who is Varuna (good, pure and holy), i.e., superior to others, in nature, attributes, power and good works.
But God is called Varuna, because He greatest among the great; Holiest among the holy and purest among the pure. There is no one equal to Him, nor shall any one ever be. How can then anyone be greater than Him? Neither
matter nor soul possesses such infinite powers and attributes as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Omnipotence, Omniscience. A thing that is true and real, has nature, attributes and characteristics also true and real.
It behoves, therefore, all men to worship and adore God and God only, none besides Him, because, even the men of yore, saints and sinners as Brahma, Vishnu, Mahaadeva, Daaitya, Daanava, believed in and worshipped Him and Him only. They adored no other God. We shall take up this subject in detail in the chapters on ‘Divine Worship’ and ‘Emancipation’.*
- The words such like Mitra should be taken to mean friend, etc., and the words like Indra, etc., the well-known devas** of this visible universe.
A.~ No, not here (i.e., in the verses such as above, wherein prayers are addressed). A man, who is friend to one, is an enemy of another and indifferent to a third person. Hence Mitra her cannot be taken to signify an ordinary friend, but it here means God, because He is One Who is an absolute Friend of all, unfriendly or indifferent to none. No man can ever be like Him. This is the primary meaning of the word. But its secondary meaning is an ordinary friend.
. Mitra ( from nimid to love) means God, because He loves all and is worthy of being loved by all.
. Varuna (from vri – good or vara – to desire) is One who is best, holiest of all and desired and sought after by all righteous, pious and learned men who are seekers after truth and salvation.
. Aryama (from re to obtain, to go and ma to respect) is One who respects and honors the good and, the just, and punishes the wicked – The Great Judge who gives souls the fruits of their deeds, good or evil.
. Indra (from Idi – power) is One who is all – powerful.
. Vrihaspati ( pa – to correct or govern, Vriha – great) is One who is greatest among the great, and governs the entire universe.
. Vishnu (Vishr – to pervade) is One who pervades all the universe, animate and inanimate.
. Urukramaa ( uru – great, krama – energy) is One who possesses infinite energy.
. Brahma (brih or brihi – to lord) is One who lords over all.
. Bhumi is One who is the abode of all and greater than all.
. Surya is One who is the life and light of the universe, animate or inanimate.
. A’tma (at – to pervade) is One who pervades the soul as well as the material universe.
. Paramaatmaa ) para – great, aatmaa see above) is One who is holier than the soul, subtler and more powerful than the soul and matter, who pervades and controls the soul.
. Parameshwar(Param – great, I’shwara – powerful, see No. ) is One who is All-powerful among the powerful, Almighty.
. Savita (su – to create) is One who is the Creator of the Universe.
. Deva (from the root div, which means to operate, desire to win, work, illuminate, praise, please, punish, sleep, desire and know) is One who operates in the universe and governs it and does all His works by His own powers without help from others; Who desires or helps the good and the righteous to win and is Himself invincible, gives all power and means to work; Who knows everything and is just and glorious, illuminates and enlightens all, is worthy of praise, All-blissful, bestows happiness on others, punishes the wicked and gladdens the hearts of the good and Himself enjoys perpetual bliss; who has ordained night for all to sleep and rest, in the indefinable, imperceptible, primeval elementary matter – prakriti; Whose will is holy and Whose is desired and sought after by the good, and Who pervades all and knows all.
. Kurvera (kuvi – to cover or spread) is One who covers all or overspreads all.
. Prithivi (prithu – spread) One who has spread this extensive universe.
. Jala (jala – to beat) One who beats or punishes the wicked and beats the atoms into shape, or beats them asunder in the Creation or Dissolution of the universe, respectively.
. Akaash (kash – to illuminate or enlighten) is One who illuminates or enlightens the whole world.
. Anna and atta ( from ad to eat) is One who eats or absorbs into Himself or contains the universe, animate and inanimate. As grubs are born in the inside of a fruit of a fig tree, live and die in the same, so is the universe born, lives and perishes* in God. TAITREYA UPANISHAD : . VEDANT SHASTRA : .
. Vasu ( vas to abide or dwell) is the One who dwells in all things, and is the abode of all.
. Rudir (Rudir – shed tears) is One who makes the wicked and the unjust shed tears. It is said in the Shatapatha Brahmana “Whatever a man thinks, he speaks; whatever he speaks, the same he acts; whatever he acts, he reaps”. In other words, a man reaps whatever he sows. When the wicked suffer pain in consequence of their sins at the hand of Divine Justice, they wail and weep. He is, therefore, called Rudra
. Naaraayana ( Naraa – water and souls, aayana – abode) signifies, God, because He is the abode of souls and pervades them. MANU :.
. Chandra (chadi – to please) is the One who is All-bliss, and gives pleasure and happiness to others.
* i.e., reduced to its elementary condition. -Tr.
. Mangala (mang – has the same meanings as gati, see No. ) is One who is All-blissful, and showers bliss on the soul.
. Budha (budha – know) is One who is All-knowledge and endows souls with knowledge.
. Shukra (shu -to purify is One who is purity personified and in whose company soul becomes pure)
. Shanaishchara (shanaish – with ease, char – to go, eat) is One who reaches or gains access to all with ease, and possesses great fortitude.
. Rahu (rah – to avoid, reject) is He Who is one without admixture of anything else. Who rejects the wicked, and frees others from the hands of the wicked.
. Ketu (kit – to abide or reside and cure disease) is One who is the abode of the universe, free from death and disease. He frees the emancipated souls from disease and suffering during the period of salvation.
. Yajna (yaj – to shine, worship, combine, devise and give) is One who combines the different elements together and evolves this world and its objects out of them, Who is worthy of being worshipped by all the sages and seers from Brahma downwards and will always be. He is the Omnipresent God. “Yajna is the Omnipresent God”, says the Shatapatha Brahmana.
. Hotaa (hu – to give or take) is One who gives all that is worth giving to souls and takes from them what is worth taking.
. Bandhu (bundha – to bind, connect) is One who keeps all the worlds bound by laws to Himself, and helps to keep them in order so that they cannot move out of their orbit or the laws of their constitution. He is like a brother unto all the world and supports, protects and gives happiness to all.
. Pitaa (paa – to protect, rear) One who protects all. Just as a father, through paternal love and kindness always desires the good of His children, even so does God -is the Father of all – desire happiness for all.
. Pitaamaha – The father of fathers.
. Prapitaamaha – The Great-Grandfather.
. Maataa – God is named mata (mother), because He has happiness and prosperity of all souls at heart just as an earthly mother, out of extreme love and kindness, desires happiness and prosperity for her offspring.
. A’charya (char – to conduct, move, go and, eat) God is called so because He is the source of all true knowledge and righteousness. It is through Him we receive knowledge, and live virtuous lives.
. Guru (Gri – to speak) the Teacher of all true knowledge and learning Who revealed the Word of salvation (Vedas) in the beginning of the world, the Teacher of eve all the early teachers such as Agni, Vayu, A’ditya, Angira and Brahma.
He is immortal, says Yogashastra. “He is the Teacher of even the most ancient teachers. He is Immortal. Time cannot influence Him.” YOGASHASTRA SAMADHI .
. Aja (aja – to combine, join, manifest or evolve) is One who combines the elements and atoms properly, and evolves the world out of them; unites bodies with souls, and brings them out into the world, which is called their birth. He is Himself never born.
. Brahma (brihi – to develop, multiply) is One who has created the world and multiplies it.
. Satya (sat – to exist) is One who is the true embodiment of existence among all existences.
. Jnaana is One who knows all the world, animate and inanimate. “The Great God is Satya Jnaana and Ananta” – Taitiriya Upanishad.
. Ananta is one who has no limitations, boundaries, end or dimensions.
. Anaadi is One who has no beginning, nor a first cause.
. Ananda is One who is All-blissful and endows happiness on the good and the righteous.
. Sata (asi – to be) is One who exists in all times, the past, the present and the future, and is not limited by time.
. Chit is One who is a truly conscious Being and endows souls with true knowledge of right and wrong.
. Sachidaananda (sata + chit + ananda) is One who is an existing, truly conscious, blissful being.
. Nitya Firm, Immortal, Eternal.
. Shudha (shudh – to purify) is One who is Himself pure and purifies others.
. Mukta (much – to free) is One who is always free from all sin and impurity, and frees souls from sin and suffering.
. Nitya shudha budha mukta subhaava is One who is Eternal, Holy, Omniscient and Free.
. Niraakaara (nir – no, akar – form) is One who has no form nor body nor is ever embodied.
. Niranjana (Nir -no, anj – form, color, immorality, disorder) is One who is free from immoral conduct, disorders, etc., nor is He the object of senses such as the eyes.
. Ganapati (Gana -host, pati – Lord) is One who is the Lord of host, i.e., of all the Material and Spiritual world, which He also protects.
. Ganesha (Gana – host, Isha – Lord) Lord of Hosts.
. Vishveshwara (Vishwa – universe, Ishwara – Lord), Lord of the Universe.
. Kutastha, is One who pervades all, supports all, and yet Himself undergoes no transformation.
. Devi has the same meanings as the word Deva, which is of Masculine gender, whilst Devi is of feminine gender. God has names in all the three genders.
. Shakti (shak – power) is One who is powerful enough to create the world.
. Shri (shri – to serve) is One who is served by all saints, sages and seers.
. Lakshmi (Laksh – to see and mark) is One who sees all the universe and endows it with distinguishing
marks or features, as bodies with eyes, ears, etc.; trees with leaves, fruits and flowers; liquids and solids with different colors as black, white, red, etc. earth with dust and rock, etc.; and sees them all. He is the most beautiful among the beautiful. He is the chief. Source of the Vedas, of the Yogis and wise men.
. Saraswati (sri – to achieve and know) is One who is possessed of infinite knowledge of the universe, of words, their objects and their relations.
. Sarvashkatimaan, One who does not require the assistance of another in accomplishing His works, Who by His Own innate power does all His work.
. Niyaayakaari. Niyaaya is what is proved to be true by all the eight kinds of evidence such as, Direct Cognition, Inference, Analogy, etc. It is the dispensing of justice without favor or partiality. Niyaayakaari is One who practices Niyaaya, i.e., truth, justice and righteousness.
. Dayaalu (Daya – to give, take, go, know, protect injure) is One who makes all fearless knows all, protects the good, and punishes the wicked.
. Advaita is One is only one, and indivisible without any admixture, either of the same kind ( as man and man are of the same kinds from man), or made up of different parts. Consequently there is no relation of whole to its parts, as of body with its parts such as, eyes, ears, etc.
. Nirguna is One who is free from the (distinguishing) properties of matter such as Satwa, Rajas, Tamas,* color, taste, touch, smell and of the soul, such as finite power and knowledge, ignorance, passions and desires, and pain of all kinds. This definition is substantiated by the authority of Upanishada. “He is free from sound, touch, color, and such other qualities.”
. Saguna** is One who possesses such attributes, as perfect knowledge, perfect bliss, purity, infinite power.
* See Chapter eight, for their meanings. – Tr **Possessed of certain specific attributes.
Everything in this universe is Saguna (positive) and Nirguna* (negative). For instance, the material objects are called Nirguna, because they are void of the properties and powers of conscious beings, as will and feelings. Whilst they are also Saguna (positive), because they possess their own material properties. The same is true of God. He is Saguna, when He is looked upon as possessed of His own attributes, as Omniscience, Omnipotence, but He is also Nirguna, being free from the properties of matter and soul.
. Antaryami is One who pervades the animate as well as the inanimate universe, and controls it.
. Dharma Raja is One who is free from sin and evil, and rejoices in truth, justice and righteousness – The Great Judge.
. Yama is One who governs all, administers justice to all and is the personification of Justice.
. Bhagwaan (Bhag – to serve) is One who is possessed of all might and power, and is worthy of being served and worshipped.
. Manu (man – to know) is One who is the true embodiment of knowledge, and worthy of being known and believed.
. Purusha (pri – to fill, sustain) is One who counts and classifies the material objects and souls.
. Vaishwambhara is One who sustains and preserves the world.
. Kaala (Kal – to count) is One who counts and classifies the material objects and souls.
. Shesha is One who undergoes no change during Creation or Dissolution. He is the one Unchangeable Eternal world.
. A’pta (aap – to pervade) is One who pervades the universe, is filled with all true knowledge and righteousness, is the true Teacher of all, accessible only to the good and the righteous, and free from such bad attributes, as dishonesty, fraud, etc.
* Devoid of certain specific attributes.
. Shankara (sham – good, from kri – to do) is One who is the Benefactor of all, and Giver of happiness.
. Mahaadeva (maha – great + deva) is One who is greatest among the great, the good, and the learned, and is the Light of the world.
. Priya (pri – to please and desire) is One who gladdens the good, the righteous and the true seekers of salvation, and is worthy of being sought after – The embodiment of Love.
. Swayambhu (swayam – self and bhu – to be) is One who is Self-existent, Uncreated.
. Kavi (ku – word) is One who is all-knowledge and reveals true knowledge through His Word (The Veda).
. Shiva is One who is all Bliss and he Giver of happiness to all.
. Swarat – Self-effulgent.
. Suparnaa – the Protector and Preserver of the Universe.
. Matrishwaa – Powerful like wind.
. Garutmaan – Mighty by nature.
We have her explained the meanings of only one hundred names, but there are millions of other names of God besides these. His names are without number, because His nature, attributes and activities are infinite. One name stands for each of them. These hundred names are like a drop in the ocean.
In the Veda and Shastras, the infinite attributes, powers, characteristics of God, are described, and can be learnt by the study of those books. A perfect knowledge of even other subjects can only be gained by those who study them.
Why has this work not been commence with a benedictory and auspicious Prologue?
Objector – How is it that you have set down nothing in the way of manglacharana*, like other authors, who do it in the beginning, the middle and the end of a book?
* The custom of writing set words and phrases, indicative of auspiciousness in the beginning, middle and end of a book by way of Prologue, Interlouge ( I owe the reader an apology for coining this word) and Epilogue. -Tr.
Author ~Because it is not right to do so. He who only writes good things in the beginning, the middle and the end of his book, would write bad things in the intervening parts of the book. Says the Saankhya Shastra – Manglaacharana consists in constantly obeying the Will of God by the practice of truth, and justice, without prejudice or partiality, as enjoined by the Vedas, under all conditions and circumstances.”
Throughout his book, from beginning to end, an author, should write honestly and justly, what is true and only that. This is manglaacharana. It is not manglaacharana to write what are true things at one place, and those that are false at another. This practice of manglaacharana is nowhere to be found in the Vedas or the Shastras – books of sages and seers. They either begin with the word atha (now) or AUM. We quote the following as corroborative of our position:-
“(Atha), Now we shall discourse on the ‘Science of language’” …Mahaabhashya.
“Now we shall discuss the Science of morals”, i.e., after the study of the Vedas……Purva Maimaansaa.
“Now we shall describe in the chief features of religion”, and so on….Vaisheshika Shastra.
“Now we shall teach the science of Yoga.”….Yoga Shastra.
The Rig Veda begins with the word ‘Agni’.
The Yajur Veda begins with the word ‘ It ‘.
The Saama Veda begins with the word ‘Agni’.
The Atharva Veda begins with the word ‘Ye trishapti’
In no case do the Vedas and the Shastras begin with” I bow unto Ganesha,” etc. Wherever even Vedic scholars start with Hari Aum, they have contracted this pernicious habit from the Pauraniks and the Tantriks. Nowhere in the Vedas and Shastras is the word ‘Hari’ written in the beginning. Hence a book ought start either with Atha(now), or AUM
We have, in this Chapter, briefly discoursed on the different names of God.
END OF CHAPTER