You are here:

Hindus/vedas question

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: dear William how are you? I just have a mantra from yajurveda and I would like your help with understanding a small portion of it. First of all here is the mantra:

for the love of the people I adore the lord of light, creator of earth and heaven and the middle regions of the skies, the eternal poet who composed this wonderful world of paradisal beauty and truth adorned with the jewels of life from his inexhaustible treasure of nature, lord so dear to the learned and the wise, the brilliant manifestation of whose existential form blazes in the heaven above and the earth below which he made. With his infinite mercy he created the regions of bliss for the people, the creatures he created and loved. The people adore you, lord, with their breath of life. Lord of the golden bough in both hands, bless the people with the breath and energy of life existential as well as eternal.

if you notice the part where it says 'inexhaustible treasure of nature', I would just like you to explain what he means with inexhaustible? that ishwar cannot run out of the material he uses for creation? is that correct?  thanks I await your response.

ANSWER: Dear Dave,

Thank you for your question.

Although I'm inclined to agree mostly with your understanding based on the English translation you provided, I reserve any final opinion until I can see the original Sanskrit text. What word has been translated "inexhaustible"?

Vedanta metaphysics denies creation is "material" at all, being a manifestation of Consciousness. Note the assertion from the Chandogya Upanishad, sarvaṃ khalvidaṃ brahma , i.e., "All this is verily Brahman." There is no question of running out of "material." The idea is that Consciousness (Brahman) has the unlimited ability to expand and manifest in myriad forms without being limited, diminished, or essentially changed in the process.

Best wishes,

Brother William

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: dear William thanks immensely for your reply and for the Upanishad reference, however, vedas is shruti and the rest is smriti so whatever you or I say the final word we all should accept is the vedas as it is the supreme authority. now I would like to quote you the ved mantra as it is originally(which contained the 'inexhaustible treasure of nature' bit:

abhi tyam devam savitaramonyah kavikratu marcami satyasavam ratnadhamabi priyam matim kavim. urdhva yasyamatirbha adidyutatsavimani hiranyapaniramimita sukratuh krpa svah. prajabhyastva prajastva nupranantu prajastvamanupranihi.

so that is the ved mantra chapter 4 verse 25 . I really look forward to your reply. I hope you will find which word has been translated as inexhaustible or atleast which portion of the mantra gives a hint that the material for creation is unlimited. thanks

Answer
Dear Dave,

Upaniṣad is Veda. It is called Vedānta, the "culmination of the Veda," its philosophical essence. It is primarily what is meant when philosophers use the word śruti .

The passage you quote in transliteration without diacritics is cumbersome to read. Perhaps you can supply the word or phrase you understand to mean "inexhaustible" in the original Devanāgarī or at least with proper diacritical marks so I can distinguish long from short vowels and other aspects.

Every translation involves a certain degree of interpretation because a single word or phrase in Sanskrit can have multiple and even very different meanings. Translators will be guided in the selection of meanings by their own philosophical bias. Translators may embellish their translations with their interpretations. Sanskrit expresses concepts in condensed packets of meaning that may require long English sentences to unpack and express adequately.

In any case the philosophical point I made in my original answer still applies. There is no end to the divine source that is non-material. Therefore, it is certainly inexhaustible, regardless of the exact wording of the original text. I believe this answers your question.

Best wishes,

Brother William  

Hindus

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


William Schindler, a.k.a. Brother William

Expertise

I can answer questions about Vedanta philosophy, Patanjali Yoga philosophy and practice, Tantra, Bhagavad-Gita, Upanishads, Vivekachudamani (Shankara`s Crest-jewel of Spritual Discrimination), Advaita (non-dualism), the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, Goddess worship, meditation practice, Hindu monasticism (sannyasa), and Sanskrit.

Experience

I've been studying and practicing Vedanta and Tantra since 1969.

Organizations
I'm the founder and spiritual director of Ashram West, a gay spiritual community based on traditional Hindu Tantra. I have been a member of the Vedanta Society of Southern California since 1969.

Publications
I have three books in print: GAY TANTRA, ESSAYS ON GAY TANTRA, BLOOD OF THE GODDESS.

Education/Credentials
I hold a B.A. in Sanskrit (UC Berkeley 1975) and an M.A. in clinical psychology (Antioch University 1986).

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.