Anushtub Chandas – Gyan from Neelesh

Any shloka in Anushtup chanda is characterized by a total of 32 letters. There are four lines (we call them पाद) and each पाद has exactly eight letters.  (We don’t count half letters like म्).
In addition, there are rules regarding which letters can be  ह्रस्व, which can be दीर्घ, which can be लघु and which can be गुरू. The given shlok says that –
श्लोके षष्ठं गुरु ज्ञेयं सर्वत्र लघु पञ्चमम्।
द्विचतुष्पादयोर्ह्रस्वं सप्तमं दीर्घमन्ययोः॥
1) In a typical shlok of Anushtup Chanda, the sixth letter of every paad must be GURU.
2) The fifth letter of every paada must be LAGHU
3) The seventh letter of the second and the fourth paada must be HRASVA
4) The seventh letter of the first and third paada must be DEERGHA. [By another definition of Anushtub, Guru is expected here].
A quick reminder on what these terms mean:
ह्रस्व = अ , इ, उ, ऋ
दीर्घ = आ, ई, ऊ, ऋृ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ
गुरु = Any letter that is deergha is also a guru. In addition, if a hrasva letter is followed by a
संयुक्ताक्षर ( a letter composed by two or more vyanjan without any swara in between them) then that hrasva letter is also guru. Note that the hrasva letter itself might be a संयुक्ताक्षर, but that doesn’t make it guru. We must look at the NEXT letter and check if it a संयुक्ताक्षर.
लघु = a hrasva letter that does not become guru by above rule is laghu.
An example is –
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे
समवेता युयुत्सव:
मामका: पाण्डवाश्चैव
किमकुर्वत सञ्जय
This shloka follows all these four rules.
But also note that this rule is not 100% followd by all shlokas of anushtup. In Geeta itself you can find exceptions. The famous shloka “raam rameti raameti” is also an exception (Think why)*
*There are a few other definitions of Anushtub. By those, Sri Raama Raama Rameti falls properly under Anushtub.

  • पञ्चमं लघु सर्वत्र सप्तमं द्विचतुर्थयोः ।
    गुरु षष्ठं च सर्वेषाम् एतच्छ्लोकस्य लक्षणम् ॥
  • पञ्चमं लघु सर्वत्र सप्तमं द्विजतुर्थयोः |
    गुरु षष्ठं च पादानां चतुर्णां स्यादनुष्टुभि ॥ [वृत्तरत्नाकरम्]
For more details about the various Chandas, see

Video Karma Yoga – Gita Chapter 3 – KSOU Exam

  • Bhagavad Gita
    • 02 gita sugita kartavya, kim anyaih sastra vistaraih ya svayam (Gita Mahatmya by Adi Sankara)
    • 02 sarva vedamayi gita
    • 01 tad idam gita-sastram samasta-vedartha-sarasangraha-bhutam (Adi Sankara)
    • 01,2013.02 What is the importance of BG as the essence of all Upanishads?
    • 01 the tatparya behind the relationship between Gita and Upanishad.
    • 02 The place of BG in Prasthana traya.
    • 01 Greatness of BG.
    • 01, 2009.01 In the Vedantic world, what is the greatness of BG?
  • Karma Yoga
    • 02, 2013.01 Explain Karma Yoga in BG.
    • 01 Explain the vailakshanya (difference) of Karma and Karma Yoga.
    • 02 What is the specialty of Karma Sanyaasa in BG?
    • 01 the aptness of naming 3rd chapter as Karma Yoga.
  • Intro
    • Bhagavat Gita – is the most popular religious philosophical poem in Sanskrit literature.
    • Gita is in the Bhishma Parva of Mahabharata, which is considered as Panchamo Vedah.
    • Bhagavad Gita means “The Song by Bhagavan”
    • It comprises of Lord Krishna’s advice to Arjuna, around 5150 years ago at Kurukshetra battle field.
  • Essence of Vedas and Upanishads
    • The Mahabharata says “सर्वशास्त्रमयी गीता” meaning that the Gita comprises of all the scriptures.
    • The science of understanding God is covered in the Gita. This is the subject matter of the Vedas also. The theme of the Upanishads is also the same.
    • गीतासुगीताकर्तव्याकिमन्यैःशास्त्रविस्तरैः।यास्वयंपद्मनाभस्यमुखपद्माद्विनिःसृता॥
      gita sugita kartavya kim anyaih shastra vistaraih
      ya svyam padama nabhaayasa mukha padmad vinih srita (Gita-mahatmya 4)
      This Gita which has come out of the lotus-like face of the Lord (He who has the lotus in His navel) and which is so melodious, should be studied. There is no need to study any other scriptures in detail.
    • Sri Shankaracarya states in the introduction to his Gita commentary, तत्इदम्गीताशास्त्रम्समस्तवेदार्थसारसंग्रहभूतम् tad idam gita-sastram samasta-vedartha-sarasangraha- bhutam, meaning “This Gita-sastra is the essence of the purport of all the Vedas”.
    • सर्वोपनिषदो गावो दोग्धा गोपाल नन्दनः ।पार्थोवत्सःसुधीर्भोक्तादुग्धंगीतामृतंमहत्॥६॥

The Bhagavad Gita is compared to a cow endowed with the rich milk containing the essence of the teachings of the Upanishads. Lord Krishna is compared to a skillful milkman who brings out that precious milk for the wise and Arjuna is compared to a calf, without which it is not possible to milk the cow easily.

  • सर्ववेदमयीगीतासर्वधर्ममयोमनु: ।सर्वतीर्थमयीगंगासर्वदेवमयोहरि: ।।9 ।।

Gita contains all the Vedas. The Manu Smriti contains all the dharmas. The benefit of all the sacred waters is in Ganga. All the gods are in Vishnu.

  • Prasthanatraya means the three sources of authority (in the Vedantic world). It is the collective name given to the Upanishads, Bramha Sutra and Srimad Bhagavat Gita, which are accepted as three sources from which the different schools of Vedanta derived their authority.
    • Bramha Sutras are a compendium of 555 aphorisms by Sage Bhagavan Veda Vyasa.  They present in concentrated form the entire philosophy of the Upanishads. It is the text book for post graduate study for a student of Vedanta.
    • The Upanishads generally form the end of the aranyakas of the Vedas and therefore the philosophy obtaining therein is called as Vedanta meaning `end  of the Vedas’.  They contain the essence of Vedic teachings.  They are the foundations on which most of the later philosophies and religions of India rest.
  • Greatness
    • Gita mahaatmyam or the Glory of Gita is hence unlimited and beyond description. It contains the essence of all the four vedas and yet its style is so simple that after a little study, anyone can easily follow the structure of the words. Yet it is so profound that even a lifelong study may not reveal the depth of meaning. As a reader grows in maturity, the same words reveal more and more facets of thought and hence the Gita remains eternally new.
    • गीताश्रयेऽहं तिष्ठामि गीता मे चोत्तमं गृहम् ।गीताज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य त्रींलोकान्पालयाम्यहम् ॥ ७॥The Lord Himself says in the varaahapuraaNaathat He has made Gita his abode and maintains the three worlds on the strength of the wisdom contained in the Gita.
    • The Bhagavad Gita has lessons for the young and old of any caste, creed and religion and teaches the technique of perfect living for all times.
  • Contents
    • Gita conveys sublime teaching on religion, philosophy, ethics and the art and science of correct and efficient living and attitude towards life and its problems.
    • 1) the first six chapters (called karma-shatkam) talk about the concept of renunciation of the deeds of karma as a method of liberation, (2) the next six chapters (called bhakti-shatkam) talk about the love of the personal God as a method of liberation and (3) the last six chapters (called gyana-shatkam) talk about the way of knowledge as a method of liberation.
    • By performing the prescribed duties, with unshakeable knowledge and desirelessness, one can get into and practice the path of devotion to attain The Almighty controller Sriman Narayana, called as Brahman
  • Karma Yoga
    • Yoga means linking oneself to the supreme personality or Godhead.
    • The main purpose of Bhagavad Gita is to induce people to action. Sri Krishna urges all to do their duty sincerely, as per existing laws and without attachment or expectation of results. Here the stress is on KARMA YOGA as the suitable path for advancement of mankind.
    • What does Karma Yoga mean?
      • KARMA: The word originated from the root “KRU” meaning do, work, etc. Karma thus means action or work, and not the popular meaning of “fate”. There are two types of Karma – 1) Niskama Karma- work without attachment, which produces no bondage, and 2) Sakama Karma-all work done for some end result, which leads to bondage for the doer. The work may be to maintain your body, meet your official obligations, to upkeep your family, prayers & other religious activities, service to society or many other things. In Gita, the word Karma is used to denote all human activities.
      • YOGA: This is a much more confusing word. Yoga is generally understood as the activity of breath control or taking different body postures, or the activities mentioned by Pathanjali. But in Gita this word has a much wider and somewhat different meaning.
        The word Yoga originated from the root ”YUJ” meaning Joining, tieing together, etc. This word is used at innumerable places in the Gita with meanings like appropriateness, joining, expertise, attainment, etc. The essential meaning of Yoga is explained by Sri Krishna himself as “Yogah Karmasu Kausalam” (Gita 2.50). Kausalam means a special talent, expertise or skill in doing something. So doing things with expertise is Yoga. A Yogi is one who does something with expert knowledge or skill.
      • Karma yoga goes beyond simple daily chores and extends to the whole life. It is meant not only for spiritual aspirants but also for worldly people, to whom work is the way of life and who have to deal with tougher challenges and greater distractions as they are engaged in the act of living. Karma Yoga or the path of action as suggested in the Bhagavad-Gita teaches people how to cope with the pains and pleasures of life without choosing and without escaping. It teaches people how to remain engaged with the process of living, however difficult and distasteful the circumstances may be. This is in stark contrast to the popular opinion that men should renounce their worldly things, go to a forest or some secluded place, away from society like a cave and perform tapas or meditation in order to achieve self-realization.
    • Karma Sanyaasa Yoga – Different from Karma Yoga
      संन्यासं कर्मणां कृष्ण पुनर्योगं च शंससि। यच्छ्रेय एतयोरेकं तन्मे ब्रूहि सुनिश्चितम् ||

O Krishna, You praised or extolled the yoga of renunciation of action and then again the yoga of action. Of these two, tell me for sure which is better.  5-1

Lord Krishna starts his discourse by telling Arjuna that both Sanyasa & Karma Yoga are parts of the package to awaken to the truth within, but one should be very clear that for a person who is yet to be fully ready, resorting to Karma Yoga is far better. The essence of sanyasa is to attain a state wherein one neither has any aversion for things outside nor does he associates too great an importance to extraneous things. This ability alone is aimed to be developed & polished by Karma Yoga. So both these sadhanas aim at one goal alone.
While the earlier chapters (three and four) revealed the extreme necessity of karma in life, and then emulating the action done by Lord Krishna himself to get the best out of our life, the fifth chapter reveals a subtler & subjective dimension of this process of transcending the process of karma.

लोकेऽस्मिन् द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ ।
ज्ञानयोगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम् ॥ ३ ॥

कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन् ।

इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचारः स उच्यते ॥ ६ ॥

नियतं कुरु कर्म त्वं कर्म ज्यायो ह्यकर्मणः ।

शरीरयात्रापि च ते न प्रसिद्ध्येदकर्मणः ॥ ८ ॥

यज्ञार्थात्कर्मणोऽन्यत्र लोकोऽयं कर्मबन्धनः ।
तदर्थं कर्म कौन्तेय मुक्तसङ्गः समाचर ॥ ९ ॥

देवान्भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः ।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परमवाप्स्यथ ॥ ११ ॥

(Prajapati created humans along with the Yajna. Yajna are the dedicated work performed in a spirit of sacrifice. Deva = the presiding deity in any field of activity who blesses the worker in that field with his profit. i.e., the productive potential. The potential is dormant. When he worker puts in the effort, he reaps the benefits. Bhaavata = nourish. Param shreyah = Harmonious growth of existence).

अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।

यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यः यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः ॥ १४ ॥

bhutaani = society; Annam = enjoyable crop of profit;  Parjanya = favorable conditions that convert the raw material to enjoyable profit; Yajna = Dedicated Activities; Wheel of Action = Action à Activities à helpful conditions à enjoyable profit

 कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् ।

तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ १५ ॥

Imperishable Supreme à Creator à The power to act

कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः ।

लोकसङ्ग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ॥ २० ॥

Welfare of the world – performed actions in a spirit of detachment and dedication.

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥ २१ ॥

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः ।
अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते ॥ २७॥

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् ।

स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः ॥ ३५ ॥

Dharma = duty; Here Vasanas in the mind = texture of the thoughts. Man’s personality.  Swadharma = type of vasanas that one discovers in one’s own mind. To act according to one’s own taste, inborn and natural, is the only known method of living in peace and joy, in success and satisfaction.  To act against the grain of one’s own vasanas would be acting in terms of Para-dharma, and that is fraught with danger.

एवं बुद्धेः परं बुद्ध्वा संस्तभ्यात्मानमात्मना ।
जहि शत्रुं महाबाहो कामरूपं दुरासदम् ॥ ४३ ॥

History of Sanskrit Poetics – Short Notes

History of Sanskrit Poetics – Short Notes

Two important works on this topic have been written by P.V. Kane and S.K. De.

Bharata or Naatya Shaastra

Bharata muni wrote the Naatya Shaastra. It mainly deals with Drama though it is the earliest text on Poetics. It consists of 36 chapters. Its commentary is called Abhinava Bharati, which is written by Abhinava Gupta. This Naatyashaashtra describes all aspects of Drama and these performing arts. Bharata has mentioned about the four alamkaaras, 10 gunas and 36 lakshanas. He describes 10 types of Dramas or Rupakas namely, Nataka, Prakarana, Samavakara, Ihamrga, Dima, Vyayoga, Anka, Prahasana, Bhana and Vithi. During his time, the art of Drama had developed very well.  In naatyashaastra, the four alamkaaras mentioned are उपमा, दीपक, रूपक and यमक. Yamaka is a shabdaalamkaara having 10 forms. The others are Arthaalamkaaras. The concept of Rasa applicable for Dramas is explained by Bharata in Naatya Shashtra. The causes of rasa are Vibhaava, Anubhaava and Vyabhichaari bhaava. The ingredients of Rasa are Vibhaavas (Aalambana Vibhaava, Udveepana Vibhaava), Anubhaava (which includes Saatvikabhaavas) and vyabhichaaribhaava (which are the Sahakaari kaaranas). From the संयोग union of these components, रसनिष्पत्तिः – the realization of the Rasa is achieved. When the sahrudayas watch the vibhaavas, anubhaavas and vyabhichaaribhaavas, the staayibhaavaa in their hearts is kindled. It is nourished by these components and it transforms itself into Rasaa or the aesthetic sentiment.

Bhaamaha or Kaavyaalamkaara

Bhaamah wrote Kaavyaalamkaara.  He is considered to have lived during 700 AD. Bhaamaa proved that Kavya is accepted by the Vedas.  According to the earlier Alamkaara-praadaanya-vaadis like Bhaama, Dhandi, Udbhatta, and Rudratta, Alamkaara is the most important aspect of Poetry.  He mentioned up to 30 alamkaaras. Bhaamaha and Dhandi mention about the earlier Alamkaarikas. But their works are not available to us. From Bharata’s 4 alamkaaras, we notice that the evolution of 30 alamaarakas have happened by the collaboration of the 4 alamkaaras with the 36 lakshanas.

Bhaamah states in काव्यालंकार that Kavya comprises of words and their meanings – शब्दार्थौ सहितौ काव्यम् | Stressing on the importance of Alamkaara, it has been mentioned, न कान्तमपि निर्भूषं विभाति वनिताननम् – the beautiful face of the wife does not shine with radiance without proper ornaments – says Bhaama.

नाकवित्वमधर्माय व्याधये दण्डनाय वा । कुकवित्वं पुनः साक्षान्मृतिमाहुर्मनीषिणः ।। १.१२ ।। (kaavyaalamkaara)
न+अकवित्वम्+अधर्माय व्याधये दण्डनाय वा । कुकवित्वं पुनः साक्षात् मृतिम् आहुः मनीषिणः ।।

“Not writing poetry is no crime; it won’t cause illness or lead to punishment; but writing bad poetry is a living death”, says Bhaamah in Kaavyaalamkaara.

Dhandin or Kaavyaadharsha

Kaavyaadharsha is a work by Dhandi. He is believed to have lived in the 7th century AD. He lived near Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. He has other works like Dashakumaara Charita, Avanti Sundari Kathaa. In Avanti Sundari Kathaa, he has mentioned about his own life – how his ancestors came from North India, one of them named Dhamodaraa was his forefather, and states his own experiences. Kaavyaadharsha was a very popular text on Sanskrit Poetics. It had been translated into various languages more than 1000 years ago. It was translated into Tibetan language. This work is also the source for one of the earliest Kannada work – Kavi Raaja Maarga. Even later writers have also referred to this work. Many verses of Kaavyaadharsha reflect what is said by Bhaamaha in Kaavyaalamkaara. They appear to be similar to Bhaamaha’s work, (probably Dhandhi had borrowed from Bhaama) along with Dhandi’s own opinions. There are many Sanskrit commentaries on Kaavyaadharsa like those by Vaali Jangaala, Ratna Sri Jnaana and Taruna Vaachaspati. It continues to be a very popular work across the world.

Udbhata or Kaavyaalankaara Saara Sangraha

Udbhata hails from Kashmir as the very name indicates. His name has been mentioned in the Raajatarangini of Kalhana as a poet adorning the court of Jayaapida. His period is after Bhama (750 AD) and before Anandavardhana (850 AD). His work on poetics is Kaavyaalankaara Saara Sangraha. He is always quoted with respect by his successors even when they differed from his views. He differs from Bhaama and Dhandin in defining certain Alamkaaras having Rasa such as, Preyas, Rasavad and Urjasvin. Preyas according ot him, comes only when there is a developed emotion such as Srngaara to that extent only when it could remain a Bhaava and is not developed into Rasa.  ऊर्जस्वि according to him is the development of indecorous or misplaced Rasa and Bhaava as for  example the attitude of Raavana towards Sita.  He also declares that Shanta Rasa could be developed possibly through action on the stage.

Vaamana or Riti Siddhanta or Kavyalankara Sutra Vritti

Vaamana who lived during the 8th century AD, in Kashmir was a contemporary of Udbhata. Vamana was the pioneer of Riti Siddhanta. He accorded the highest place for Riti or the style of composition as the soul of poetry.

The Aatma or the soul is that core or fundamental element or the principle which defines the very essence of Kaavya.

Bhaamaha defined Kavya as shabdaartha sahitau Kavyam. Kavya is the combination or the complex of words and their meanings. It also implies blemish-free or nirdosha. He later extended it to include the element of alamkara in the definition. Dandin also went with this view. But the later schools felt that this definition of Kavya was centered on the external element or the body of the Kavya and not the spirit or the soul of Kavya. Thus began the quest for the soul of Kavya.

Vamana the author of Kavyalankara Sutra Vritti declared Ritih aatma Kavyasya – रीतिरात्मा काव्यस्य | Though Vamana advocates Riti, he also states that Alamkara enhances the beauty of Kavya. Vamana says Kavya is the union of sound and sense which is free from poetic flaws [nirdosha] and is adorned with excellences [gunas] and ornamentation or figures of speech [alamkaras].  To him Riti is a beautiful collocation endowed with excellences – “विशिष्ट पदरचना रीतिः” “विशेषो गुणात्मा”.Riti represents for Vamana the particular structure of sounds combined with poetic excellence. Riti is the going or the flowing together of the elements of a poem.

Vamana expanded on the concept of Gunas dealt by Dandin. Kavyalamkarasutravritti is divided into 5 adhikaranas each consisting of 2 or 3 adhyayas.

Though Vamana retained the 10 gunas enumerated by Dandin [Ojas, Prasada, Shlesha, Samata, Samadhi, Madhurya, Sukumarata, Udavarta, Arthavyakti and Kanti], he modified their names and increased the number of gunas to 20. He created 2 sets of the same 10 Gunas under 2 headings namely Shabda guna and Artha guna.

He attempts to explain each guna in terms of both Shabda and Artha. For eg, Prasada [clarity] means shaithilya [readability] under shabda guna while it means Auchitya [propriety] under artha guna.

He abandoned the approach of Bhamaha and Dandin who treated Rasa as a subsidiary element of the verse.

Although he did not accord rasa an independent status, he treated rasa as an aspect of artha guna.

Riti, according to Vamana, is a particular mode or organisation of verbal structure that is different from common usage and also has excellence of gunas.

Dandin had named literary styles as Marga मार्गः and mentioned Vaidarbhi वैदर्भिः and Gaudiya गौडीय margas. Vamana not only modified this concept of style, he also renamed Marga as Riti and included Panchali पाञ्चाली to the above list.

Panchali has Madhurya and Saukumarya gunas while Gaudiya has Ojas and Kanti. It is however Vaidarbhi that has all 10 gunas and is the most preferred style. He terminates the view that the practice of Gaudi and Panchali would help a poet gain experience to adopt Vaidarbhi. The interesting example given by him is:

na shanasutravaanabhyaase trasarasutravaanvaichitryalaabhah.
How can anyone trained in weaving jute cloth ever hope to weave silk cloth?

Vamana treats alamkaras as a subsidiary significance. Guna and Kavya have a samavaya sambandha (inseparable concomitance) while Alamkara and Kavya are said to be in samyoga sambandha (Relation by contact). Guna is related to the soul of the poetry while Alamkara is related to the body of the poetry. He has considered only 2 shabdalankaras namely, Yamaka (rhyme) and Anuprasa (Alliteration). With regard to Arthalankaras, he opines that most of all Alamkaras lies only in comparison. His collective name for all figures is Upamaaprapancha.

Vamana’s conception of rasa corresponds to that of Dandin as far as status allotted to it is concerned. But while Dandin brings Rasa under Alamkaras, Vamana treats it as belonging to Gunas.

Vamana laid the foundation to the theory of Vichchithi which was later developed by Kuntaka. However the Riti school of Vamana did not have followers in the same way as Rasa, Alamkara and Dhvani schools had. The general conception of Riti was severely criticised by Mammata. In spite of all this, Vamana was the ablest writer to formulate a definite theory so as to determine the soul of poetry.

Kuntaka or Vakrokti Siddhanta or Vakrokti-jivita

The term Vakrokti वक्रोक्तिः has been used to mean different things by Sanskrit poetics.

  • Bana has used the term in Kadambari.
  • Dandin uses vakrokti to mean something that is contradictory to svabhavokti. Svabhavokti is a plain statement or fact, while vakrokti is striking or oblique speech.
  • Bhamaha thinks atishayokti is vakrokti and it brings beauty to all Alankaras and it converts ordinary things into vibhavas.
  • Vamana thinks that Saadrushya lakshana [similitude] is vakrokti.

Kuntaka entered the scene after Anandavardhana, probably a contemporary of Abhinavagupta. He was a unique and original thinker who did not approve the dhvani doctrine whole-heartedly. He revived the concept of Vakrokti giving it a new twist and meaning. His work is called Vakrokti-jivita.

To him Kavyavyaapaara is the crucial factor in Kavya. Hence he is called vyaapaarapraadhaanyavaadi. He defines Kavya as follows

शब्दार्थौ सहितौ वक्रकविव्यापारशालिनी। बन्धे व्यवस्थितौ काव्यं तद्विदाह्लादकारिणि।। (वक्रोक्तिजीवितम्-१.७)  Shabdaarthau sahitau vakra kavivyaapaarashaalini
Bandhe vyavasthitau Kavyam tadvidaahlaadakaariNi

Shabda and artha are the objects to be adorned and vakrokti is the adornment.  He has described many types of vakrata and has included all types of gunas and types of dhvani under them.

Vakrokti-jivita denied the independent existence of dhvani or vyangya as the soul of poetry and tries to include it under the all-pervading vakrokti. Since he defends vakrokti, he does not accept svabhavokti as an alankara. Although he widened the scope of vakrokti, not many followers are found.

Mahimabhatta criticises Kuntaka vehemently. He states that vakrokti is also inference mainly. It is just a new name because he has used the same examples which were given by Anandavardhana for Dhvani. Bhojaraja says that literature has 3 divisions namely, svabhavokti, vakrokti and rasokti. Appaya Dikshita considers vakrokti as alankara only. He follows Rudrata who classifies vakrokti as Sleshavakroti and Kakuvakroti and placed them under alankara.

Kshemendra or doctrine of Auchitya or Auchityavichaaracharcha

Kshemendra was the son of Prakashendra and the student of Abhinavagupta. He lived during the reign of King Ananta and later King Kalasha in the 11century AD. He was a prolific writer with many works to his credit. Of which Kavikantaabharanam, auchityavichaaracharcha and suvruttatilakam pertain to poetics. He calls himself “vyasadasa”.

Anauchitya is the root of all doshas. Bharata enumerates 10 doshas and says that wrongly placed ornament only causes laughter. Bhamaha has also detailed about doshas. Dandin however shifts the perspective to the sahrdayas. If the discerning scholar has no irritation while reading a piece of literature then doshas are not blemished. So auchitya औचित्य indicates what is right or wrong and this is very subjective. Anandavardhana has employed the term anauchitya on more than one occasion. He says auchitya decides the type of sanghatana in a Kavya. Also says that anauchitya is the greatest hindrance for the relishment of rasa. Abhinava says that auchitya means harmony of all elements of Kavya with rasa as the main element. Kuntaka considers auchitya as a guna. Mahimabhatta says anauchitya is of 2 kinds. Antaranga and bahiranga.

According to Kshemendra, auchitya is the jivita of rasa. If rasa is the essence of a Kavya, Auchitya is the quintessence of Rasa. He says that alankara, guna, dosha, etc., are all meaningless without auchitya.

An item which is suited to another is called uchita [proper]. The state of being proper is auchitya [propriety].

27 types of auchitya have been mentioned by Kshemendra. Propriety should be present in  pada, artha, prabhandaartha, guna, alankara, rasa, kriya, karaka, linga, vachaa, visheshana, upasarga, nipata, kala, desha, kula, vrata [vow], tattva [reality], abhipraya, svabhava, saarasangraha, pratibha, avastha [state or condition], vichara, aashishinaamnyata [benediction], Kavyaanga.

Auchitya with reference to rasa has been dealt with in detail by him. He says that if different rasas are mixed properly, they enhance the relish.

Jagannatha Pandita or Rasagangadhara

Jagannatha जगन्नाथः was the author of Rasagangadhara He was a Telugu Brahmin who lived during 1620-1665 near Rajahmundry. He was patronised by Moghul emperor Shahjahan and he received the title “Panditaraja” from the emperor of Delhi. He defines Kavya as  रमनीयार्थ प्रतिवादक शब्द काव्यम्  He considers rasadhvani as parama ramaniya.  He describes rasa sutra according to various authors. He tries to improve upon Abhinavagupta’s view. According to Jagannatha there is not much difference between the views of Abhinavagupta and Bhattanayaka.

He has presented a new view of the Navyas. Rasa is said to occur on account of contemplation. It is compared to silver seen in seashell. It is a kind of illusion and indescribable. He is a traditionalist and accepts 9 rasas and rejects the arguments of those who want rasatva for bhakti. He says bharata’s words are the final in this regard. He also opines that Pratibha is the only cause for Kavya and not the combination of pratibha, nipunata and abhyasa. He is a follower of dhvani school. He however says that it is wrong to classify shabdachitra and arthachitra together and so has 4 categories of Kavya.

He was a great critic as well as a great writer. Nagesha Bhatta the famous grammarian of 18th century has written a commentary on Rasagangadhara, named Marmaprakasha. Some of his other works include Gangalahari, Lakshmilahari, Karunalahari, Sudhalahari, Jagadaabharana, Praanabharana, etc. He has choicest abuse for Appaya Dikshita in his work ChitramimamsakhandanaManorama kuchamardini is a criticism of Bhattoji Dikshita’s Praudamanorama. All illustrative stanzas in it are Jagannatha’s own. The important illustrations in the Rasagangadhara and some other charming stanzas of Jagannatha have been collected in the work named Bhaminivilasa.

Rajashekara or Kavyamimamsa

Rajashekara is the author of Kavyamimamsa. He has referred to Anandhavardhana, Vakpatiraja and Bhavabhuti. He is believed to have lived under the patronage of King Mahipala, during the later part of 9th and first part of 10th century AD. He was the son of Silavati and Durduka. He was proficient in Sanskrit and many dialects of Prakrit. He is believed to have composed 6 works.

  • Karpuramanjari
  • Viddhashaalabhanjika
  • Balaramayana
  • Balabharata
  • Kavyamimamsa
  • Bhuvanakosha

There is no discussion or exposition of rasas, gunas and alankaras in Kavyamimamsa (Investigation of Poetics). It belongs to kavishiksha or training of poets. Various chapters in the book describe the daily routine of the poet, the systematic rigor that goes into the making of a poet and the discipline that is to be inculcated in their lifestyle, amongst other things.

Dhananjaya and Dhanika

Dhananjaya wrote Dasharupaka and Dhanika wrote Avaloka, a commentary on it. Dhananjaya is believed to have lived in 9th century AD under the patronage of Vakpatiraja. Dhanika probably belonged to 11th century AD. They both vehemently opposed the vyanjana vyapara. They also do not accept shanta rasa as fit to be depicted in drama. They say that it is impossible to enact shama which is complete stoppage of all action. Dhanika says that Tatparya is the main function in ordinary language and poetry as well. Tatparya cannot be restricted and conveys suggested meaning too. Hence a separate vritti called vyanjana is not required.

Dhananjaya refers to sthayibhaava as the ocean which may get disturbed now and then but always retains its original position. The basic mental state lies in the dominant mood and cannot be upset by other Bhaavas but renders the bhaavas to remain subordinate to itself.

Viswanatha or Saahityadarpana

Viswanatha was born in the 14th century AD at Orissa as the son of Chandrasekhara. He had the title Saandhivigrahika Mahapatra. His most important work is Saahityadarpana.

Other works include Raghavavilasa-mahakavya, Kuvalayashvacharita, Prabhavatiparinaya, Chandrakala, Prashastiratnavali and Kavyaprakashadarpana [commentary on Mammata’s work]. Saahityadarpana combines both poetics and dramaturgy. His style is simple and elegant and his expressions are also clear. However he lacks originality. Vakyam rasatmakam Kavyam is his theory.

Mahimabhatta or Vyaktiviveka

Mahimabhatta was an opponent of dhvani theory. He was a follower of Srishankuka’s theory of anumana. He is believed to have lived in Kashmir in 11th century AD. He was a good scholar endowed with acumen. Vyaktiviveka has 3 chapters called vimarshas.

1st vimarsha severely examines Anandhavardhana’s Dhvani concept and points out 10 defects. 2nd vimarsha deals with anauchitya. 5 types of anauchitya [vidheaavimarsha, prakramabheda, kramabheda, paunaruktya and vachyaavachana] are discussed. 3rd vimarsha takes up shlokas of Anandhavardhana from Dhvanyaloka and shows how each of them can be an instance of anumana. An incomplete commentary on vyaktiviveka is available and it is believed to have been written by Ruyyaka.


Rupagoswami or Bhaktirasaamritasindhu

Rupagoswami lived during last part of 15th and first part of 16th century. He promoted the Bhakthi concept. He was a disciple of Chaitanyamahaprabhu and wrote 2 works namely Ujjvalanilamani and Bhaktirasaamritasindhu. Religious teachings of Bhakti school are presented here. Love of Krishna is the sole object and 360 types of nayikas are described. His other works include Natakachandrika [on dramaturgy], Padyavali and Danakelikaumudi. Like Madhusoodhana Saraswati, he also considered Bhakti to be a rasa.

Video – Kaavya Prakaasha – Sessions by Smt. Harini



Granthas are of two types namely lakhshiya grantha and lakshana grantha . The grantha that defines poetry is a lakshana grantha. Lakshana grantha is not a poem or a drama. There will be definitions and examples which are mostly cited from other works which are Lakhshiya Granthas. The examples could either be from the works of other famous poets or a sample poem could be written by the author himself.

Lakshya Grantha deals with the subject or vishaya and it is in the form of a poem or a drama based on a theme or plot.

Kavya prakasha is a Lakshana grantha [that which explains about rules of poetry etc] written by Mammata. Starting from Bharata there have been various thinkers and writers who have propounded many theories like Rasa, Bhava, guna, Dosha, Alamkara etc. while authors like Bhamaha, Dandin, Udbhata and Rudrata focused on Alamkara, Vamana emphasized the concept of Riti. However it was Anandavardhana who changed the entire course of discussion by introducing the concept of Dhvani. Dhananjaya the author of Dasharupaka, Dhanika the commentator of Dasharupaka and Mahimabhatta the author of Vyaktiviveka , firmly opposed the concept of Dhvani.

Author Lakshana Grantha Soul Highlight Time
Bharata Muni Naatya Shaastra Rasa काव्यस्य आत्मा रस: | इति वृत्तम् तु काव्यस्य शरीरम् | 500 BC
Bhaamaha Kaavyaalamkaara Alamkara काव्यस्य आत्मा अलंकार: | 700 AD
Dhandi Kaavyaadharsha 10 Gunas दश गुणा: एव काव्यस्य आत्मा |  
Vaamana Kaavyaalankaara Sutra Vrutti Reeti रीतिरात्मा काव्यस्य | 800 AD
Mammata Kavyaprakasha Dhvani काव्यस्य आत्मा ध्वनि: | 1200 AD
Jagannatha Rasa Gangadhaaraa      
Anandavardhana Dhvanyaaloka Dhvani काव्यस्य आत्मा ध्वनि: | 1000 AD
Kuntaka Vakrookti Jivitam (crooked speech) Vakrotti काव्यस्य आत्मा वक्रोत्ति: |  

The confusion and chaos that prevailed in the literary circles at that time prompted Mammata to defend the theory of Dhvani. Kavyaprakasha was written to establish a firm footing for the dhvani theory and refute the arguments of the opponents.

Date and place : Mammata is believed to have lived in Kashmir [shaaradadesha] during the latter half of 11th cen AD and first half of 12th cen AD. He had the title Rajanaka which is peculiar to poets from Kashmir and was also called Saraswathi avatara  by his admirers.

Kavyaprakasha is divided into 10 chapters called Ullaasas. The Ullasaas have kaarikas [142] and vritti which gives illustration. Popularity of the text can be known by the number of commentaries available. Independent authors like Ruyyaka and Viswanatha have written commentaries. Sudhasagara is a famous commentary written by Bhimasena Dikshitha.

1st ullaasa.

Mangala shloka:

नियतिकृतनियमरहितां ह्लादैकमयीमनन्यपरतन्त्राम्  ।
नवरसरुचिरां निर्मितिमादधती भारती कवेर्जयति  ॥ कारिका १ ॥

नियतिकृतनियमरहिता = a creation which has no limitations imposed by the laws of nature.   नियति – creation is a concept or tattva among the concepts in shaivism.  Brahman’s creation is of a form fixed by the power of the laws of nature.

ह्लादैकमयी = full of pleasure alone;  Brahman’s creation has aspects of pleasure (sattva), pain (rajas) and delusion (tamas).

अनन्यपरतन्त्रा = independent of other’s help;  Brahman’s creation is dependent on material causes like the atoms and auxiliary causes like action. Upaadaana kaarana – mud is required for making pot. Nimitta Kaarana  or sahakaari kaarana – the potter and the wheel.

नवरसरुचिरा = Charming with nine rasas; Brahman’s creation has only six relishes and it is not necessarily enjoyable. नवरसः च  रुचिरा च |

निर्मितिम् आदधती = (kavi’s vaani poet’s speech) gives this creation.

कवेः भारती  जयति | prostration is implied by jayati.

The nirmiti of Brahma is the upamaana. The nirmiti of Kavi is the upameya. उपमानात् उपमेयस्य आधिक्यम् अस्ति | This is Vyatireka Alamkaara Dhvani as the upameya is superior to upamaana.

Here the author is trying to draw a comparison between the creations of the supreme creator brahma and a poet. He boasts that the creation of a poet is superior to that of Brahma because it is not restricted by the laws of nature, not dependent on others, full of pleasure and is enriched with 9 rasas. Brahma’s creation is limited by the laws of nature , is dependent on other kaaranas [upadana and nimitta], has rajas [pain] and tamas[delusion] apart from sattva [pleasure] and has only 6 rasas.

Since the poet is described as having an upper hand, he says Goddess Bharati [who manifests in the speech of poet] is victorious.

Kavya prayojanam or purpose of a kavya:

काव्यं यशसेऽर्थकृते व्यवहारविदे शिवेतरक्षतये  ।
सद्यः परनिर्वृतये कान्तासंमिततयोपदेशयुजे  ॥ कारिका २ ॥

  • Yashas: poetry brings about fame. Kalidasa is alive even today after many centuries through his works.
  • Arthakrthe: Poetry brings in wealth as in the case of Dhavaka who got money from Sriharsha.
  • Vyavaharavidhe: Imparts knowledge about general behaviour.
  • Shivetarakshaye: Removes bad afflictions. As in the case of Mayura who composed Mayurashtaka in praise of Sun God and was cured of illness.
  • Sadyah (immediate) paranivrtaye: Aesthetic bliss is obtained through poetry. This is the foremost of all benefits as it is exclusive to poetry.
  • Kantasammita upadesha: gives advice to the reader, sweetly like a beloved. Prabhu sammita (order. Eg. Veda says do certain soma yaaga if you want svarga praapti – one can’t question that  – importance is for word),  mitra sammita ( suggestion.  Eg Friends’ advice. Can be adhered to or ignored – importance is for meaning) , and Kaantaa sammita (Sweet Persuasion. Eg Lover’s words are carried even without realizing that one is being persuaded to do something – importance is for the message). रामादिवद्वर्तितव्यं न रावणादिवदित् – One should live like Rama and not Ravana. Rama created a gold idol and did the ashvamedha yaaga.  He was the only person who was ekapatni vrata.

Kavya Hetu: Equipments required for poetry.

शक्तिर्निपुणता लोकशास्त्रकाव्याद्यवेक्षणात् ।
काव्यज्ञशिक्षयाभ्यास इति हेतुस्तदुद्भवे  ॥ कारिका ३ ॥

The saamagri required to compose poems can be grouped under 3 heads.

  1. Shakti – prathibha शक्तिः कवित्वबीजरूपः संस्कारविशेषः [inherent genius]
    1. It is a samskaara that comes over the ages. संस्कारविशेषः
    2. काव्यं तु जायतेजातु कस्यचित्प्रतिभावतः – Bhaamaha – kaavyaalamkaara – Only from a person with Prathibha only, the poem can arise.
    3. यां विना काव्यं नप्रसरेत् – Not possible to write poetry without this.
    4. प्रसृतं वा उपहसनीयं स्यात् – If it happens to be created without prathibha, it will be ridiculed.
  2. Nipunata – expertise gained by lokagnaana, shaashtragnaana, kaavya gnaana
    1. Lokagnaana is gained by observation of worldly things, Sthavara jangama etc
    2. Shaastra gnaana is obtained by studying shastras like chandas, vyakarana, chaturvarga, about elephants, horses and other lakshana granthas.
    3. Kaavya gnaana is obtained by reading works of great poets and also itihasa puranas.
  3. Abhyaasa – repeated constant practice under the guidance of experts.
    1. Practice writing as per the chandas
    2. There are shikshaa granthas that explain how it is to be written.
    3. काव्यं कर्तुं विचारयितुं च ये जानन्ति ते काव्यज्ञाः | Learn under knowledgeable people who can write and be a critic of poetry.

These three together is the single cause. हेतुः तु हेतवः |

This is supported by नैसर्गिकी च प्रतिभा श्रुतं च बहुनिर्मलम् । अमन्द पूर्वाभियोगोस्या: कारणं काव्य सम्पदा | Dandin says in Kaavyaadarsha that in case prathibha is not present, but the other two are present, in certain cases, one might get some blessings to create poetry – श्रतेन यत्नेन च वागुपासिताध्रुवं करोत्येव कमप्यनुग्रहम् |

Kavya swaroopam:

तददोषौ शब्दार्थौ सगुणावनलङ्कृती पुनः क्वापि ।

He states that the word-meaning devoid of faults, endowed with Guna and Alamkaara is kaavya. But he adds that there is no compulsion (अनुरोधः) that there should be Alamkaara when there is prominence of Rasa.  यत्र सर्वत्र शब्दार्थौ सालंकारौ स्यातां, यत्र रसस्य प्राधान्यमस्ति तत्र स्पष्ट-अलंकारस्य अनुरोधः मास्तु | In his words, he says यत्सर्वत्र सालङ्कारौ क्वचित्तु स्फुटालङ्कारविरहेऽपि न काव्यत्वहानिः | He cites this example.

यः कौमरहरः स एव हि वरस्ता एव चैत्रक्षपास्ते
चोन्मीलितमालतीसुरभयः प्रौढाः कदम्बानिलाः ।
सा चैवास्मि तथापि तत्र सुरतव्यापारलीलाविदौ
रेवारोधसि वेतसीतरुतले चेतः समुत्कण्ठते ॥१॥

An example to prove that rasa can be predominant without alamkara.

He who stole my virginity is my beloved now, the nights of spring, the strong breezes from the Kadamba trees carrying the fragrance of malati flowers are also the same. I too am same as before. But still on the banks of Reva, under the Vetasa tree my heart longs for amorous sports.

Classification of kavya.

Prior to Dhvanyaaloka, the classification was Dhrushya (Naataka) and Shravya (Gadya – kathaa and Aakyaayikaa, Padya – Kanda kavya, mahaa kavya, shataka, …  and Champu which is a combination of Gadya and Padya)

Based on the concept of dhvani the kavya was classified as Uthama, madhyama and adhama.

इदमुत्तममतिशयिनि व्यङ्ग्ये वाच्याद्ध्वनिर्बुधैः कथितः  ॥ कारिका ४ ॥

वाच्यात् व्यङ्ग्ये अतिशयिनि सति इदम् उत्तमं काव्यम् ध्वनिः इति बुधैः कथितः

Uthama kavya is also called dhvani kavya, that which is rich in Dhvani or suggestion. The charming suggested meaning should surpass the denoted meaning, as mentioned by Anandavardhana in Dhvanyaloka.

यत्रार्थः शब्दो वा तमर्थमुपसर्जनीकृतस्वार्थौ | व्यङ्क्तः काव्यविशेषः स ध्वनिरिति सूरिभिः कथितः || (ध्वन्यालोकः) १.१३ ||

अतादृशि गुणीभूतव्यङ्ग्यं व्यङ्ग्ये तु मध्यमम्।

Madhyama kavya is also called Gunibhoota vyangya. Here the suggested meaning though present does not excel. It may be equal or less charming or subordinated to the denoted meaning.

Eg. ग्रामतरुणं तरुण्या नववञ्जुलमञ्जरीसनाथकरम् । पश्यन्त्या भवति मुहुर्नितरां मलिना मुखच्छाया ॥३॥ In this, the literal meaning is that the brightness of the young woman’s face becomes acutely faded when she sees the youthful villager who carries in his hand a bunch of fresh Vanjula flowers”. Here the suggested meaning is that she did not go to the meeting point even though she had promised to meet her lover there. Since the denoted meaning is more charming, in this example, the suggested meaning is subordinated to the denoted meaning.

शब्दचित्रं वाच्यचित्रमव्यङ्ग्यं त्ववरं स्मृतम्

Adhama kavya or chitrakavya. It has no relishable suggested meaning. It is more of a verbal circus where the poet is interested in conveying his skills. Kuntaka raises an objection on classifying a poem to be inferior. Chitrakavya can be of 2 types shabda chitra and artha chitra. Shabda chitra is just repeated use of same word or rhyming words to create an alliteration. Arthachitra is superior to shabdachitra and involves the use of arthalamkaras.

भिद्यादुद्यदुदारदर्दुरदरी दीर्गादरिद्रद्रुम- द्रोहोद्रेकमहोर्मिमेदुरमदा मन्दाकिनी मन्दताम् ।।4।।

Second ullasa

शब्दार्थयोः स्वरूपमाह— (सूदृ 5) Vaamana explains in the Kaavyaalankaara Sutra Vrutti |

स्याद्वाचको लाक्षणिकः शब्दोऽत्र व्यञ्जकस्त्रिधा

Word is of 3 kinds: Vachaka [denotative], Lakshanika [indicative] and Vyanjaka [suggestive]. The respective functions [vyaapara] of these 3 words are Abhidhaa, Lakshana and vyanjana. The meanings conveyed by these 3 types of words are Vachya [denoted] Lakshya [indicated] and vyangya[suggested] respectively.

3 main functions of a word or shabda vyaapaara

Vaachaka denotative Expressed or denoted meaning Abhida vyapara Koshaarthah, Vaachyaartha, शक्यार्थ power of the word conveyed by the dictionary meaning
Laakshanika indicative Indicated or suppressed meaning Lakshana vyapara Lakshyaarthah, Lakshanaarthah,
Some element is suppressed (The word bank is suppressed in Gangaayaam goshah – Hamlet on the banks of Ganga and not in Ganges)
Vyanjaka suggestive Suggested meaning Vyangya vyapara Dhvaniyarthah, Vyanjanaarthah, vyangyaarthah It shows or reflects or suggests some other meaning. The tone of “Go, go!” might mean “Don’t go”.


तात्पर्यार्थोऽपि केषुचित् I some [abhihitanvayavada of Bhatta school of mimamsa] say that Tatparyartha or the meaning of a sentence is the fourth category.

The Denoted meaning or the Vachyartha is the mukhyartha or the principal one. It is assigned to the word by Sanketa or Ishvarechcha. Since the word has a sanketa it is also called sanketita.

Abhihitanvayavada and anvitabhidanavada:

The opponents of dhvani theory also refute vyanjana vyapara. The Bhatta and the Prabhakara school of mimamsa do not accept vyanjana function of a word.

Every word has a sanketa or a denoted meaning. The relationship between the individual word meaning and the sentence meaning as a whole has been dealt by Kumarila Bhatta and Prabhakara.

Kumarila Bhatta came up with Abhihitanvayavada, which says that the meaning of the sentence is not merely the total meanings of the individual words. But the syntactic combination on the basis of Akanksha[expectancy], Yogyata[compatibility] and sannidhi[proximity in pronounciation].

Eg: devadutta tandulam pachati.

Here the individual denoted meanings are first understood as… Devadutta [karta], tandulam [rice, karma] pachati [cooking present tense ekavachana]. Since these unconnected word meanings, presented by the function abhida, don’t make complete sense, another function called tatparyavritti was introduced. Here with the aid of Akanksha, yogyata and sannidhi one is able to understand that “cooking of rice is going on [present tense] under the agentship singular agent named Devadutta”.

Thus the meaning of the sentence called tatparyartha is different from the individual meanings of the words known by abhida. The words denote their individual meanings and then those meanings are correlated to obtain the sentence meaning. Abhida gets exhausted after denoting the individual word meaning and so we resort to tatparyartha or tatparya vritti for sentence meaning.

According to Anvitabhidaanavada, the words of a sentence do not convey unconnected meanings but always syntactically connected meanings only. As soon as the sentence is uttered, the meanings of the words are grasped in a connected way.

वाच्य एव वाक्यार्थ इत्यन्विताभिधानवादिनः

So Vakyartha and Padartha are the same and there is no need for a separate function like tatparyartha.

विशिष्टा एव पदार्था वाक्यार्थः। न तु पदार्थानां वैशिष्ट्यम् [5th ullasa] the meaning of the sentence is the correlated meanings of words and not the correlation of the meanings of the words.

Mammata’s opinion:

In Abhihitanvayavada and Anvitabhidanavada, the function of abhida is given prominence. This cannot explain the function of suggestion. In arthashakthimula dhvani, the denoted meaning is only contextual. We see from many examples where the convention may be positive but however the suggested meaning is actually negative.

According to Abhihitanvayavada, the function abhida cannot even give the normal expressed meaning of the sentence, so how can it give suggested meaning which may be different or even opposite to the expressed sense?

According to Anvitabhidanavada, the denoted meanings of the words are related to each other in a general non-specific way. Eg. Each of these sentences have the word gaam [cow] with different verb. Gaam aanaya [bring the cow], Gaam naya [take away the cow] and Gaam badhaana [tie down the cow].

The relation of the meaning of the word gaam and the words aanaya, naya and badhaana are related only in a general non-specific way. When words occur in a sentence, the sanketa of each word is cognised only when the sanketa of meanings related to other meanings is grasped

Since the number of words and number of sentences are infinite, it becomes difficult to understand the sanketa of each and every word in infinite sentences.

Also the denoted meaning itself is something correlated only in a general non-specific way with the meanings of other words. So a particular meaning of a word related to another particular meaning of another word in a sentence cannot be known by denoted meaning at all, since it has no sanketa.

Therefore the suggested meaning which is further different from the sentence meaning cannot be denoted by abhida. [to be elaborated]

सर्वेषां प्रायशोऽर्थानां व्यञ्जकत्वमपीष्यते

Vyanjakatva or suggestiveness of all 3 functions of the word are accepted

  1. Suggestiveness of denoted meaning: eg. माए घरोवअरणं अज्ज हु णत्थि त्ति साहिअं तुमए। ता भण किं करणिज्जं एमेअ ण वासरो ठाइ II Mother, you proved that provisions are not available today. Tell me, what should be done? Day light will not stay like this for long. Here the denoted meaning suggests that the daughter wants to roam freely.
  2. Suggestiveness of indicated meaning: eg. साहेन्ती सहि सुहअं खणे खणे दूम्मिआसि मज्झकए। सब्भावणेहकरणिज्जसरिसअं दाव विरइअं तुमए II oh friend, you have been subjected to much exertion almost every minute in persuading that handsome youth. You have definitely done what is proper for your good nature and friendship.  Here the indicated meaning is that “you have become my enemy by entertaining my beloved amorously”. The suggested meaning is that the paramour of the speaker has committed an offense and she wants to express it.
  3. Suggestiveness of suggested meaning: eg. उअ णिच्चलणिप्पंदा भिसिणीपत्तम्मि रेहइ बलाआ। णिम्मलमरगअभाअणपरिठ्ठिआ संखसुत्ति व्व  II See the white crane is shining on the lotus leaf still and motionless like a conch shell resting on a clean plate of emerald. Here the security of the place is suggested by the motionless crane. This in turn suggests the absence of people in that place and it being suitable for rendezvous. OR there can be another suggestion where the young woman is telling her lover “ you are telling a lie, you did not come here”

Definitions of Vachaka, lakshana and vyanjana 

Vachaka:   साक्षात्संकेतितं योऽर्थमभिधत्ते वाचकः

Vachaka is that which directly denotes the conventional meaning. It is not possible to comprehend the meaning of a word if the convention [sanketa] related to the meaning is not known. So vachaka is a word with reference to a meaning in which the relationship between the word and the meaning has been uninterruptedly grasped.

सङ्केतितश्चतुर्भेदो जात्यादिर्जातिरेव वा

Sanketa or convention is of 4 types as Jati etc or just one Jati itself.

Since the words are infinite in number it is not possible to come up with a convention for each individual word. Hence a concept or Upadhi has been introduced. Convention is of 4 types.

  1. Jati – genus. It is also called Praanaprada. An eternal property which is universally one and exists in many individual things is called Jati. Eg. Gotva in all go, ghatatva in all ghata etc. all words denoting the property of a genus belong to this group.
  2. Guna – quality. Also called visheshadanahetu. Words denoting guna or quality fall into this group. It adds a special feature like shuklatva, krishnatva etc.
  3. Kriya – action. Words denoting actions like chalanam, pachanam etc .
  4. Vaktryadrichchasanniveshita- arbitrary names. These are fixed according to the whims and fancies of a speaker. It includes proper nouns, Rama, Ravana, Diththa etc.

The guna , kriya and yadrichasanniveshita categories all exist only in a dravya and not independently. So he says Jati etc 4 or Jati alone.

स मुख्योऽर्थस्तत्र मुख्यो व्यापारोऽस्याभिधोच्यते  II

That primary meaning which has sanketa [convention] is called Mukhyartha and the function of the word that conveys it is Abhida [denotation]

Lakshana and its types  [short notes]

 मुख्यार्थबाधे तद्योगे रूढितोऽथ प्रयोजनात।

अन्योऽर्थो लक्ष्यते यत्सा लक्षणारोपिता क्रिया ।। 9

The function by virtue of which a meaning other than the primary meaning is grasped either due to incompatibility of primary meaning [mukhyarthabhada] or a relation of the other meaning due to usage [roodhi] or purpose [prayojana] is called Lakshana.

Eg. “कर्मणि कुशलः” इत्यादौ दर्भग्रहणाद्ययोगात्  II गङ्गायां घोषः” इत्यादौ च गङ्गादीनां घोषाद्याधारत्वासंभवोत् II

In both cases there is mukhyartha bhada. Karmani kushala cannot simply denote a person holding Darbha grass but the indicated meaning is that the person is an expert at work. This is understood by roodhi.

In गङ्गायां घोषः there is incompatibility of the primary meaning as it is not possible for a river to be the locus of a hamlet. Here there is a specific purpose or prayojana of the said expression. It could indicate the pavanatva, sheetalatva etc of the banks of ganga river where the hamlet is situated.

Types of Lakshana: Lakshana is broadly classifies into 3 types.

  1. Shuddha Lakshana: The relation between the primary and indicated meanings are not similarity but some other thing, it is called Suddha Lakshana. This is again divided into 2 types.
  1. Upadaana Lakshana – Here the primary meaning implies the secondary meaning for accomplishing its own completion. Eg. कुन्ताः प्रविशन्ति , the lances enter. Since the lances cannot enter on their own, the phrase implies the persons holding the lances. This is called स्वसिद्धये पराक्षेपः I
  2. Lakshanalakshana – Here the primary meaning is given up for the sake of secondary meaning. Eg. गङ्गायां घोषः. A village where cowherds live cannot exist on the stream named Ganga. So the primary meaning is given up and the indicated meaning namely , the bank is accepted. This is called परार्थं स्वसमर्पणम् I
  3. Saaropa Lakshana : सारोपान्या तु यत्रोक्तौ विषयी विषयस्यथा II here the the Vishaya [that on which something is superimposed] and Vishayin [that which is superimposed] , both are mentioned. This is again of 2 types.
  1. Gauni saaropa: Aaropa is based on relationship of similarity in guna [quality] eg. गौर्वाहीकः  here Gauh is the vishayin, the qualities of it like Jaadya, Maandya etc are superimposed on the vishaya, Vaahika [a member of the vaahika tribe]. So it is indicated that the qualities of slothfulness, stupidity etc seen in an ox is present in the Vaahika.
  2. Shudda Saaropa: Aaropa is based on some other relationship. Eg. आयुर्घृतम् ghee is long life. Here relationship can be explained on the basis of cause and effect. Consumption of Ghrita gives strength and ensures longevity in the consumer, hence Ayush is superimposed on ghrita.
  1. Saadhyavasana Lakshana: विषय्यन्तःकृतेऽन्यस्मिन् सा स्यात्साध्यवसानिका I Here the Vishaya on which the vishayin is superimposed is not mentioned. This is again of 2 types.
  1. Gauni saadhyavasana: Similar to Gauni saaropa except that the vishaya is not mentioned. Eg. गौरयम् I The term Vaahika is understood and not mentioned explicitly.
  2. Shudda saadhyavasana: Similar to Shudda saaropa except that the term Ghritam is not explicitly mentioned. Eg. आयुरेवेदम् I

Mammata again classifies lakshana on the basis of presence of vyanjana.

व्यङ्ग्येन रहिता रूढौ सहिता तु प्रयोजने। 

  1. Roodhi Lakshana: This kind has no suggested meaning in it. Just indicated meaning alone. Hence it is also called अव्यङ्ग्या I eg. “कर्मणि कुशलः
  2. Prayojanavati Lakshana: This is further divided into of 2 types.
  1. गूढव्यङ्ग्या – it has hidden suggested meaning.
  2. अगूढव्यङ्ग्या – The suggested meaning is explicit.

Function of vyanjana

Vyanjana is that function of the word which unfolds the vyangya or the suggested meaning. The importance of vyanjana in poetry cannot be overstated. Rasa which is the quintessence of poetry can manifest only through vyanjana and it is the suggested sense which makes kavya beautiful and charming.

Vyanjana is understood as 1.based on lakshana and 2. based on abhidaa.

When we say gangayam goshah, the word ganga denotes the stream. This is the abhidaa or denoted meaning. Further since there is an incompatibility between ganga and gosha (hamlet), we adopt the indicated meaning [lakshana] which helps us understand ganga as ganga tata – the bank.  The prayojana or purpose for resorting to the indicated meaning is to highlight that the qualities of ganga [sacredness, coolness, etc.] are present in the hamlet also due to its closeness.

The question here is if lakshana is able to express the indicated meaning along with the prayojana then why have vyanjana separately? Mammata replies..

प्रयोजनेन सहितं लक्षणीयं युज्यते ।। 17 ।।

Lakshana or the indicated meaning does not include the prayojana.

हेत्वभावात्   लक्षणा ।। 15 ।। मुख्यार्थबाधादित्रयं हेतुः

It cannot be Lakshana due to the absence of the hetu [conditions] required for lakshana ie; incompatibility of primary meaning, relation of the other sense with the indicated meaning and purpose.

ज्ञानस्य विषयो ह्यन्यः फलमन्यदुदाहृतम्।

An example is given to explain this. When we see a pot, the object of perception is the black pot. Here the prayojana or result of perception is Prakatata [state of being known] or samvitti [consciousness]. This prakatata or samvitti , which is the prayojana is not included in the pot.

So, Ganga —à lakshanaàganga thata —àvyanjanaàcoolness sacredness etc

Thus Vyanjana is required to realise the prayojana or phala or the intended purpose.

For example in gangayam goshah, the special qualities which are cognised in the bank ie., sacredness and so on are grasped through a function which is different from abhidhaa, lakshanaa and tatparyaa. That function is called vyanjanaa, dhvananaa, dyotanaa etc. This is an example for vyanjana based on lakshana.

The next category is Vyanjanaa based on Abhidaa. There are 14 conditions in this category.

“संयोगो विप्रयोगश्व साहचर्यं विरोधिता। अर्थः प्रकरणं लिङ्गं शब्दस्यान्यस्य संनिधिः।। सामथ्र्यमौचिती देशः कालो व्यक्तिः स्वरादयः। शब्दार्थस्यानवच्छेदे विशेषस्मृतिहेतवः

  1. Samyoga: Contact. सशङ्खचक्रो हरिः
    The meaning is restricted to Vishnu because he is known to have a contact with shankha and chakra. Hari has different meanings like Vishnu, Monkey, Lion, Horse, etc.
  2. Viprayoga: Separation. अशङ्खचक्रो हरिरित्यच्युते
    Again we understand Hari as Vishnu because he is the only one capable of being separated from them.
  3. Saahacharya: Association. रामलक्ष्मणाविति दाशरथौ।
    Here meaning of the word Rama is restricted to son of Dasharatha due to his association with Lakshmana.
  4. Virodhita: Enmity. रामार्जुनगतिस्तयोरिति भार्गवकार्तवीर्ययोः।
    Here Rama is Parashurama and Arjuna is Kartaveeryarjuna. Their known enmity is referred here.
  5. Artha: Purpose. स्थाणुं भज भवच्छिदे, इति हर।
    Here Sthanu can mean pole or Shiva. Here it refers to Lord Shiva due to the purpose of bhavachedana that can be attributed to him.
  6. Prakarana: Context. सर्वं जानाति देव इति युष्मदर्थे।
    Here the meaning is based on the context. Devah can mean God or a king. Here it refers to the person addressed to in that context.
  7. Linga: Peculiar feature. कुपितो मकरध्वज इति कामे।
    Here makaradhwajah can mean Manmatha or the ocean. Here kopa or anger can be linked to Manmatha only.
  8. Shabdantarasannidhi: Proximity of another word. देवस्य पुरारातेरिति शंभौ।
    Here again deva can have different meanings. But due to the proximity with the word purarathe, we understand Deva as Lord Shiva.
  9. Saamarthyam: Ability. मधुना मत्तः कोकिल इति वसन्ते।
    The word madhu has various meanings liquor, nectar, honey etc. but the ability to produce intoxication in kokila exists only in vasanta ritu. So madhu here refers to the season vasanta.
  10. Auchiti: Propriety. पातु वो दयितामुखमिति सांमुख्ये
    Here mukham can mean face, presence, beginning etc. based on propriety here it means presence.
  11. Deshah: Place. भात्यत्र परमेश्वर इति राजधानीरूपात् देशाद्राजनि।
    Parameshwara can refer to God and king. The meaning here is king as the sentence is spoken in the capital city of a kingdom.
  12. Kalah: Time. चित्रबानुर्विभातीति दिने रवौ रात्रौ वढद्धठ्ठड़
    Chitrabhanu means sun and fire. If the sentence is spoken during day, it refers to sun and at night it refers to fire.
  13. Vyaktih: Gender. मित्रं भातीति सुहृदि, मित्रो भातीति रवौ।
    Mitram neuter gender means friend while mitrah masculine gender means sun.
  14. Svara: Accents used in Vedas, Udaatta Anudaatta and Svarita. इन्द्रशत्रुरित्यादौ वेते एव, न काव्ये, स्वेरो विशेषप्रतीतिकृत्
    Based on the accents, Indrashatru can mean 1. One for whom Indra will be the killer and 2. Indra’s killer. The first one is a Bahuvrihi compound and will have Purvapadaprakritiswara or Adyodaatta. While the second is Tatpurusha compound and is Antodaatta.

Role of vyanjaka in contextual and non-contextual meanings.

भद्रात्मनो दुरधिरोहतनोर्विशालवंशोन्नतेः कृतशिलीमुखसंग्रहस्य। यस्यानुपप्लुतगतेः परवारणस्य दानाम्बुसेकसुभगः सततं करोऽभूत्।।12।। (सूदृ 33)

There are 2 possible meanings of the above verse, contextual and non-contextual.

Contextual meaning: the king has a peaceful nature, his persona is difficult to be gauged, he has the high stature due to his vamsha, he has mastered several weapons, his knowledge never goes awry, he gets rid of his foes easily, his hands are charming and always wet with the water being poured while giving gifts [daana].

Non-contextual meaning: Describes an elephant. It is of the Bhadra variety, body is so high that it is difficult to mount, backbone is large and lofty, attracts many bees, its movement never falters, it is an elephant par excellence, the trunk is beautiful and always has the liquid rut flowing.

तद्युक्तो व्यञ्जकः शब्दः I  तद्युक्तो व्यञ्जनर्युक्तः (सूदृ 34)

The word which has that function is called Vyanjaka. तद्युक्तो means that which has the function of vyanjana.

So vyanjana is that function by which the non-contextual meaning is expressed.

यत्सोऽर्थान्तरयुक् तथा। अर्थोऽपि व्यञ्जकस्तत्र सहकारितया मतः ।। 20 ।।

Since the word expresses the non-contextual meaning with the interruption of the contextual meaning, the contextual meaning is considered as suggestive in a co-operative manner सहकारितयाव्यञ्जक:

<End of Part 1>

<Start of Part 2>

3rd ullaasa

Arthavyanjakata – suggestiveness

अर्थाः प्रोक्ताः पुरा तेषाम् अर्थाः, वाच्यलक्ष्यव्यङ्ग्याः। तेषां वाचकलाक्षणिकव्यञ्जकानाम्।। (सूदृ 36) अर्थव्यञ्जकतोच्यते।

The meanings of these have already been explained. “ The meanings” are vachya, lakshya and vyangya “of these” means vachaka, lakshanika and vyanjaka. Now we shall deal with suggestiveness of the meanings.

Mammata has given a list of factors which can bring about vyanjana of the meaning.

  1. Vaktr: speaker talking in first person about himself / herself.
  2. Bodhavya: speaker addresses another person.
  3. Kaku: tone of the speaker.
  4. Vakya: the entire sentence can be suggestive.
  5. Vachya: Based on the denoted meaning.
  6. Anyasannidhi: in the presence of another person.
  7. Prastava: Occasion. One may suggest that “it is improper now”.
  8. Desha: Place.
  9. Kala: time.
  10. Adi: by etc he has included chesta [gesture] etc.

Mammata says that the above can coexist in a given example.

Short notes

Dosha: It is a flaw or blemish that causes suppression or hindrance of the main meaning of a kavya. Doshas can occur in pada, vakya, artha and rasa. Mammata emphasises that the kavya has to be adoshau – blemish free. Dandin says, even a small dosha should not be neglected. It is like an ugly spot of vitiligo [shvitra] on the most beautiful body.

Guna: It may be understood as quality of excellence. They are the properties [dharmas] of rasa. Again Mammata says that the kavya has to be enriched with gunas – sagunau. Bharata has listed 10 gunas namely, Shlehsa, prasada, samata, madhurya, sukumarata, arthavyakti, udaratvam, ojas, kanti and Samadhi. Vamana says that gunas increase kavyashobha. Mammata who follows Anandavardhana has accepted only 3 gunas namely Madhurya, Ojas and prasada. He defines gunas as those qualities which heighten the Rasa [ut-harsha hetu] and stay with it permanently [achalasthita]

Madhurya ojaha prasaadaakhyaaha trayaste na punardasha

He says that the other 7 gunas are either included under the above 3 or are just absence of doshas. So they are definitely not 10 in number.

Alankara: These are the properties [dharmas] of shabda and artha. Although Mammata says that alankara is optional in kavyaswaroopa, he later adds that shabda and artha should generally have alankaras. They may not be explicit always. While defining alankara Mammata saya, those factors which at times beautify the existing rasa through its limbs [anga] shabda and artha are called alankaras. They are like necklace etc [haaradivad]. Eg. Anuprasa, upama etc.

Alam poornam karoti iti alankaraha.  Alankara brings about fullness to a kavya. They should be employed judiciously and should never over shadow rasa. In the absence of rasa, alankaras are mere fanciful expressions.

Alankarya is the prominent factor that is getting embellished. Factors like guna, alankara etc enhance rasa, so rasa is called alankarya. In certain cases, rasa may not enjoy prominence and may be subservient to some other factor. Then it is called Rasavadalankara and it belongs to gunibhoota vyangya category.

Viparitalakshana: One of the 3 factors required for adopting lakshana or secondary meaning is the relation to the other meaning. It may be nearness as in Gangayaam goshah or similarity as in mukham chandrah. Another relation is contrariness or irony. An extremely dull person may be called Brihaspathi. The indicated meaning is the opposite of the denoted meaning. This is called viparitalakshana.

Rasanishpatti or Rasasutra

कारणान्यथ कार्याणि सहकारीणि यानि च। रत्यादेः स्थायिनो लोके तानि चेन्नाठ्यकाव्ययोः ।। 27 ।।

विभावा अनुभावास्तत् कथ्यन्ते व्यभिचारिणः। व्यक्तः स तैर्विभावाद्यैः स्थायी भावो रसः स्मृतः ।। 28

There are causes, effects and auxiliary feelings of rati etc. when they occur in a kavya or natya they are respectively called Vibhavas, Anubhavas and Vyabhicharibhavas. The permanent mood [sthayibhava] which is manifested by these vibhavas etc is known as Rasa.

Sthayibhava: Bhavas [permanent mood] which permanently exist in the mind [or antahkarana] in the form of vasana [latent imprints] are called sthayibhavas. When excited, it evokes a heightened aesthetic experience called rasa. Sthayibhavas are 9 in number namely. Rati [love], haasa [mirth], shoka [sorrow or grief], krodha [anger], utsaaha [enthusiasm], bhayam [fear], jugupsa [disgust], vismaya [wonder] and nirveda [tranquillity]

रतिर्हासश्च शोकश्च क्रोधोत्साहौ भयं तथा । जुगुप्सा विस्मयश्चेति स्थायिभावाः प्रकीर्तिताः  ॥ कारिका ३० ॥

Vibhava: Exciting causes that make the sthayibhavas relishable are called vibhavas. They are of 2 kinds Aalambana vibhava and Uddeepana vibhava. The person or object which is the cause of the given sthayibhava is called aalambina a woman is the alambana vibhava for rati sthayibhava in a man. a tiger is the alambana vibhava of bhaya sthayibhava.

Uddeepana vibhavas are associated factors like moonlight, breeze, fragrance etc in shringara, darkness, shrill sounds etc in bhayanaka.

Anubhava: these are supporting factors that bring the sthayibhavas within the reach of experience. Glances, change of colour of the face etc are anubhavas.

Vyabhicharibhava: These are transitory feelings. They come and go like the waves in the ocean. They are also called sancharibhavas. They are 33 in number. Nirveda, glani, shanka, asuya, mada, shrama, alasyam, dainyam, chinta, moha, smriti, dhriti, vrida, chapalata, harsha, avega, jadata, garva, vishada, autsukyam, nidra, apasmara, suptam, prabodha, amarsha, avahitham, ugrata, mati, vyadhi, unmade, maranam, trasa and vitarka.

Rasa Sthayibhava vibhava anubhava vyabhichari
Sringara 2 types vipralambha and sambhoga Rati hero heroine with splendid dress, garlands, seasons, ornaments Skill of eye movements, eye glances, limb movements All except nirveda
Hasya Haasa Strange attire, fickleness, irrelevant talks, His crying Throbbing of lips, nose cheeks, perspiration Alasya, tandra, nidra, prabodha, asuya
Karuna Shoka Separation and loss of dear ones, burning of body Weeping, lamentation and crying Sthamba, vepathu vaivarnya, ashru
Raudra Krodha Anger, striking, abusing, false allegations, raising of weapons Reddened eyes, knitting of eyebrows, grinding the teeth. Sammoha, utsaha, avega, amarsha, chapalata, gadgada, vepathu
Vira Utsaha Heroes, great feats like crossing oceans Braveness, firmness, generosity, efficiency Dhriti, mati, garva, avega
Bhayanaka Bhaya Strange sounds, cruel animals Agitations of jackal, owls, Imprisonment of near and dear Shaking hands and feet, throbbing eyes, , change of face color Sthamba, sveda, gadgada, romancha, moha, dainya
Bhibhatsa Jugupsa Hearing or sight of ugly undesirable, unpleasant things Shrinking of limbs, contraction of face, looking slyly, vomiting Apasmara, udvega, avega, moha, marana
Adbhuta Vismaya Sight of divine beings, fulfilment of desire, vimana Dilation of eyes, seeing without winking, tears, perspiration Sthamba, gadgada, romancha, sambhrama, pralaya
Shanta Nirveda knowledge of philosophy, renunciation, yama niyama adhyatma dhyana, dharana. nirveda, smriti, dhriti, sthambha



Shanta rasa was not mentioned by Bharata. Mammata follows Anandavardhana who has accepted it. He also argues that shanta is the main rasa of Mahabharata. Nirveda which can be both sthayibhava and vyabhichari bhava. When it is born of tatvajnana it is permanent and is the sthayibhava of shanta rasa. Otherwise it is only a vyabhicharibhava. Some argue that shanta rasa can occur in kavya but cannot occur in nataka, as it is not possible to enact it on stage. But this argument is unacceptable as we see the successful presentation of the role of Buddha. Natakas like Prabodhachandrodaya and sankalpasuryodaya can be mentioned as examples.

Rasasutras deal with the theories that try to explain how Rasa is conveyed to the spectators. Some prominent theories are..

Lollata: He must have been from Kashmir, believed to have lived between 800AD and 840 AD.  He has written a commentary on Bharata’s Natyashastra. He was one of the earliest thinkers who attempted to explain Rasasutra of Bharata. His theory on Rasa sutra is called utpatti vada. According to him, Rasa is in the anukarya [characters] represented on the stage. But it is conceived as existing in the actor who represents the character.

Rasa in primary sense belongs to the hero, Rama etc. The spectator’s understanding of imputed love in the actor brings delight to the spectator. Lollata thinks that the actor cleverly represents Rama’s activities. Vibhavas produce rasa, anubhavas make it perceivable and vyabhicharins consummate it. This cognition of rasa by the spectator gives him unadulterated joy. A rope though not a serpent but mistaken to be one can produce fear. Similarly, shell mistaken as silver produces desire. Likewise, love of Rama for Sita is observed in the actor [who is not Rama and has no love for Sita]. Such things, although not genuine, produces aesthetic joy according to Lollata.

Argument:  How can an observer who has already seen silver mistake shell to be silver? A serpent could be seen as a rope and this can be life threatening. If rasanishpatti is actually in Rama the actor, how can the spectator enjoy it?

Srisankuka: His personal details are not known. He has criticised Lollata so we can know that he lived after Lollata. He believes that the spectator infers the rati of Rama and Sita on the basis of what is presented on the stage. Hence his theory is called anumiti vada.

Even though what is presented on stage is not true, he deliberately accepts them to be true. This is called “willing suspension of disbelief”. A well-trained actor imitates the hero Rama etc, and the spectator of the drama assumes that the actor is really Rama. From the vibhavas, anubhavas etc the spectator infers the sthayibhava of rati in him. This rati gets manifested as sringara rasa and the spectator relishes it.

Argument: The spectators relish rasa as a direct perception. Nobody thinks that he or she has inferred the love of Rama for Sita, but it is the transcendental joy of direct experience. What happens when one reads a poem or drama? There are no actors or imitation there. There is no basis of inference at all. But Rasanubhava is not denied there. So his theory of inference was rejected.

Bhattanayaka: He has written a commentary on Bharata’s Natyashastra. He was an opponent of dhvani theory and wrote Hridayadarpana to refute Anandavardhana’s theory. His main contribution is the introduction of the concept of Sadharaneekarana or the concept of universalization of vibhavas etc.

He has accepted 3 distinct functions of poetic word which are called abhida, bhaavana and bhoga. Abhida presents the content. Bhaavana universalises the content and Bhoga brings about the aesthetic relish. A spectator cannot have rati in respect of any heroine, say shakuntala, because he knows that she is wife of Dushyanta. Hence she cannot be the alambanavibhava. Then how can the spectator relish shringara rasa? To overcome this Bhattanayaka suggested Saadharanikarana by the function of Bhavakatva. By this, dharmas like Shakuntalatva etc are forgotten for a moment and she is visualised just as a nayika. This helps in enjoying shringara rasa.

Argument:  No theoretical objection but Abhinavagupta rejects it because he thinks it is a burden to accept 2 separate functions like Bhavana and Bhoga.

Abhinavagupta: he is one of the most remarkable personalities of medieval India. He was the son of Narasimhagupta and great-grandson of Atrigupta and lived in Kashmir in the 11th cen AD. He was a prolific writer and a great teacher. Tantraaloka is his magnum opus. He also wrote commentaries named Abhinavabharati [on Natyashastra of Bharata] and Lochana [on Dhvanyaloka]. He was an authority on Pratyyabhijnadarshana. His other works include Malinivijayavartika, Paraatrimshikaavivarana and Tantralokasaara. It is through his works that we get details about Lollata, Bhattanayaka and Srisankuka. Mammata has revered him as Srimadacharya Abhinavagupta.

He has put forth the theory of Vyanjana to explain the relation between vibhava etc and rati. He calls it the vyangyavyanjakabhava. He follows the footsteps of Bhattanayaka by saying that the locus of rasa is with the spectator.

According to him it is not possible to accept that the anukarya [character like Rama] is the locus because he does not exist now. Also many works have fictitious characters.

The anukarta [actor on stage] cannot be the locus because he would get carried away by the intensity of it and cannot continue to act as required. And so he rejects Srisankuka and Lollata.

Finally he changed focus on to the sahrdaya or the spectator. He says that the sthayibhavas exist in the antahkarana in the form of vasana or samskara. Poetry or drama evokes these latent sthayibhava and make it relishable.

Rasaabhaasa and Bhaavabhaasa

Difference between Rasa and Bhava:

रतिर्देवादिविषया व्यभिचारी तथाञ्जितः ।।35।। भावः प्रोक्तः

आदिशब्दान्मुनिगुरुनृपपुत्रादिविषया। कान्ताविषया तु व्यक्ता शृङ्गारः।

When rati is expressed in respect of God etc, then the suggested mood is called Bhava. This includes muni [sage], guru [teacher], nrupa [king], putra [son] etc. When the love is suggested or manifested for a beloved it is termed as Sringara rasa.

तदाभासा अनौचित्यप्रवर्तिताः। तदाभासा रसाभासा भावाभासाश्च

Abhaasa or improper manifestation of these leads to anauchitya [impropriety]. Of these means Rasabhasa and bhavabhasa.

Rasa or bhava is considered as an aberration [abhasa] if it occurs improperly. This is called impropriety or anauchitya. In sringara, rati is considered as improper if it occurs in the upanayaka. Love for another man’s wife especially wife of a sage, guru are also considered as anauchitya. [Ravana’s love for Sita]. One woman having rati for many men and one side love are also termed as abhasa.

In Hasya rasa, humour directed against a Guru is considered abhasa. Raudra or Vira against one’s own parents is abhasa. Bhayanaka depicted in a well-known hero like Rama is abhasa.

Rasabhasa and Bhavabhasa can be examples of Dhvani. Such a kavya can be categorised as Uttama but shall not be called Rasadhvani or bhavadhvani.

भावस्य शान्तिरुदयः संधिः शबलता तथा ।।36।।

Bhava also occurs in various stages and these stages are termed as Bhavodaya, bhavashanti etc.

Bhavodaya is the birth or rise of sentiment.

एकस्मिञ् शयने विपक्षरमणीनामग्रहे मुग्धया सद्यो मानपरिग्रहग्लपितया चाटूनि कुर्वन्नपि। आवेगादवधीरितः प्रियतमस्तूष्णीं स्थितस्तत्क्षणं माभूत्सुप्त इवेत्यमन्दवलितग्रीवं पुनर्वीक्षितः ।। 51 ।। अत्रौत्सुक्यस्य।

They were on the same bed, he mentioned the name of another wife. Her indignation was aroused, she disdained him in anger. In spite of his flattering speech, she stayed silent for a moment. Fearing that he might fall asleep she looked at him turning her neck.  Here there is the rise of Utsukata or anxiety.

Bhavashanti is the subsiding of the sentiment.

तस्याः सान्द्रविलेपनस्तनतटप्र श्लेषमुद्राङ्कितं किं वक्षश्वरणानतिव्यतिकरव्याजेन गोपाय्यते। इत्युक्ते व्क तदित्युदीर्य सहसा तत् संप्रमाष्र्टुं मया साश्लिष्टा रभसेन तत्सुखवशात्तन्व्या च तद्विस्मृतम् ।। 50 ।। अत्र कोपस्य।

She said “Are you trying to conceal the marks of her sandal-painted breasts which are stamped on your chest”. I asked “where is it?” and to get those marks erased, I embraced her suddenly and she the slim one, forgot everything under the ecstasy. In this example we see anger subsiding. So this is Bhavashanti.

Bhavasandhi is the junction of 2 sentiments.

उत्सिक्तस्य तपःपराक्रमनिधेरब्यागमादेकतः सत्संगप्रियता च वीररभसोत्फालश्व मां कर्षतः। वैदैहीपरिरम्भ एष च मुहुश्वैतन्यमामीलयन् आनन्दी हरिचन्दनेन्दुशिशिरस्निग्धो रुणद्ध्यन्यतः ।। 52 ।। अत्रावेगहर्षयोः।

On seeing this treasure of austerities and prowess, my love for association with good people and the sudden burst of heroism attract me. On the other hand, Sita’s embrace that enlivens my soul, cool and soft like the divine sandal paste stops me, immersing me in bliss.   Here there is a conjunction of avega and harsa.

Bhavashabalata is the admixture of a number of sentiments.

व्काकार्यं शशलक्ष्मणः व्क च कुलं भूयोऽपि दृश्येत सा दोषाणां प्रशमाय नःश्रुतमहो कोपेऽपि कान्तं मुखम्। किं वक्ष्यन्त्यपकल्मषाः कृतधियः स्वप्नेऽपि सा दुर्लभा चेतः स्वास्थयमुपैहि कः खलु युवा धन्योऽधरं धास्यति ।। 53 ।। अत्र वितर्कौत्सुक्यमतिस्मरणदैन्यधृतिचिन्तानां शबलता

“Where the flawless lunar dynasty and where this unbecoming act? May I see her again and again! I was educated so that faults would subside. But oh! Her face was so charming even in anger. What will the wise and pure say about this? I think she is not accessible even in dreams. O mind, steady yourself. But which blessed young fellow will kiss her lips!”  Here there is an admixture of vitarka, autsukya, mati, smarana, shanka, dainya, dhriti and chinta.

Rasa is the predominant factor in poetry. But sometimes bhavodaya, bhavashanti etc may gain predominance. This is compared to the importance of a servant in whose marriage the King is merely present. All these are types of asamlakshyakrama dhvani.

Anuranana: It means reverberation. When a sound is made near a cave it reverberates and produces echo. . This is like ringing a bell. The sound does not stop at one stroke, but continues for some time. Similarly in poetry, one meaning is understood first, it then produces another meaning and that leads to another and so on. Such examples are said to have anuranana dhvani. This usually occurs in samlakshyakramavyangya. It is of three types shabdashakti yukta, arthashakti yukta and ubhayashakti yukta.

Virodhabhasa. The figure of virodhabhasa occurs when there is an apparent contradiction, which is solved when the other meaning is grasped.

Vinaapi tanvi haareNa vakshojau tava haariNau

Here, that which has no Haara [necklace] is said to possess Haara and so there is an apparent contradiction. It is solved when we understand that the other meaning of the word HaariNau is attractive. Now the sentence means your breasts are attractive even without a necklace.


A Brahmana gets converted to Buddhism and becomes a Shramana. He is no longer a Brahmana. But people who have known him since a long time cannot forget that was a Brahmana previously and so they call him Brahmana-shramana. Similarly when figures of speech are suggested they belong to dhvani class and are not alankaras. In fact they are alankaryas or factors that get embellished. But still they are called alankaras. Here the analog of Brahmana-shramana is utilised.

4th Ullaasa                Types of Dhvani

  • Dhvani
    • अविवक्षितवाच्यध्वनिः – lakshanaa mula Dhvani
      • अर्थान्तरसङ्क्रमितवाच्यध्वनिः – किञ्चित् विवक्षिता
      • अत्यन्ततिरस्कृतवाच्यध्वनिः – अविवक्षित
    • विवक्षितान्यपरवाच्यध्वनिः – abhidhaa mula Dhvani

नञ् means full absence and also little presence. So अविवक्षित is not विवक्षिता and also किञ्चित् विवक्षिता.


अविवक्षितवाच्यो यस्तत्र वाच्यं भवेद्ध्वनौ। अर्थान्तरे संक्रमितमत्यन्तं वा तिरस्कृतम् ।। 24 ।।

Avivakshitavachya is one where there is an unintended literary import of the primary meaning. It is of 2 types Arthantarasamkramita and Atyantatiraskrta.

Arthantharasamkramita: Here the primary meaning is transformed into another suggested meaning. Eg.

त्वामस्मि वच्मि विदुषां समवायोऽत्र तिष्ठति। आत्मीयां मतिमास्थाय स्थितिमत्र विधेहि तत्।।23।।

I am telling you this, here sits an assembly of scholars. Hence remain here keeping your mind alert. We see that in the suggested meaning, “telling” gets transformed into “advicing”.

Atyantaratiraskrita: Here the primary meaning is totally rejected for the sake of the suggested meaning. Eg.

उपकृतं बहु तत्र किमुच्यते सुजनता प्रथिता भवता परम्।
विदधदीदृशमेव सदा सखे सुखितमास्स्व ततः शरदां शतम् II

You have helped me greatly what can I say? You have exhibited extremely good humaneness. O my friend! Live for a hundred years happily, doing acts of the very same kind. The entire verse is filled with irony to express one’s displeasure. Live for a hundred years happily is not intended. In fact the intended meaning is just the opposite.

एतदपकारिणं प्रति विपरीतलक्षणया कश्चिद्वक्ति ॥२४॥

Here the primary meaning is total rejected and the suggested meaning adopted is actually in contrast to the primary meaning due to irony. This is called viparitalakshana.


विवक्षितं चान्यपरं वच्यं यत्रापरस्तु सः। अन्यपरं व्यङ्ग्यनिष्ठम्।।

Vivakshitanyaparavachya is one where the primary meaning is intended to be conveyed but in such a way that it is subservient to the other [suggested] meaning.

कोऽप्यलक्ष्यक्रमव्यङ्ग चो लक्ष्यव्यङ्ग्यक्रमः परः।। 25 ।।

It is of 2 types namely, alakshyakramavyangya and lakshyakramavyanga.

Alakshyakramavyangya: Rasa gets manifested through vibhavas, anubhavas and vyabhichari bhavas. But this sequence is too subtle and happens very quickly and hence is not comprehended.

विभावानुभावव्यभिचारिण एव रसः। अपि तु रसस्तैः, इत्यस्तिक्रमः। स तु लाघवान्न लक्ष्यते।।

Apart from rasa, bhava, rasabhasa, bhavabhasa, bhavashanti, bhavodaya, bhavasandhi and bhavashabalatva are considered to be alakshyakramavyangya. [alakshyakramavyangya is sometimes called akrama]

Lakshyakramavyangya is where the sequence is perceptible. It is of 3 types, Shabdashaktimula, arthashaktimula and ubhayashaktimula.


Shabdashaktimuladhvani, Arthashaktimuladhvani and Ubhayashaktimuladhvani belong to the main type called abhidamuladhvani.

Shabdashaktimuladhvani is one where the power of the shabda [words] that have more than one primary meaning plays a role [haara]. The words may suggest a vastu [idea] or a figure of speech [alankara]. Hence it is of 2 types.

In arthashaktimuladhvani, the meaning of the word plays a role in conveying the suggested idea [vastu] or figure of speech [alankara].

अर्थशक्त्युद्भवोऽप्यर्थो व्यञ्जकः संभवी स्वतः ।।39।। प्रौढोक्तिमात्रात्सिद्धो वा कवेस्तेनोम्भितस्य वा। वस्तु वालंकृतिर्वेति षड्भेदोऽसौ व्यनक्ति यत् ।।40।। वस्त्वलंकारमथ वा तेनायं द्वादशात्मकः।

The meaning in arthashaktimuladhvani becomes vyanjaka [suggestive]. It is of 3 types svatah sambhavi, kavipraudoktimatrasiddha and kavinibaddhavaktru – praudoktisiddha. Each of these 3 types is categorised as 2 on the basis of vastu and alamkara thereby making the total count 6. The 6 is again divided on the basis of vastu and alankara and we finally have 12 types of arthashaktimuladhvani.

Svatah sambhavi Kavipraudoktisiddha Kavinibaddha vaktrupraudokti siddha
Vastunavastu Vastunavastu Vastunavastu
Vastuna alankara Vastuna alankara Vastuna alankara
Alankarena vastu Alankarena vastu Alankarena vastu
Alankarena alankara Alankarena alankara Alankarena alankara


Svatah sambhavi: That which exists in the world. Not the imagination of the poet. [Side note: Valmiki or Hanuman describing Lanka in Ramayana – description of something that exists in the world ]

Kavipraudokti siddha: Concepts arising from the imagination of the poet and conveyed by the poet himself. [ Side note: pure imagination – something that does not exist in the world ]

Kavinibaddhavaktru praudokti siddha: Here again it is the imagination of the poet. But it is conveyed through the speech of the character. [ Side note: Some character in the work describing something that does not exist in the world ]

Ubhayashaktimula dhvani शब्दार्थोभयभूरेकः It has only one type – vastuna alankara dhvani. It occurs only in a sentence वाक्ये द्वयुत्थः II  द्वयुत्थ इति शब्दार्थोभयशक्तिमूलःII

पदेऽप्यन्ये Others, ie; shabdashakti and arthashaktimula dhvani can occur in a word and sentence also. अपिशब्दाद्वाक्येऽपि। एकावयवस्थितेन भूषणेन कामिनीव पदद्योत्येन व्यङ्ग्येन वाक्यव्यङ्ग्यापि भारती भासते। Just as a beautiful woman shines more by a jewel worn on her limb, poetic speech or idea suggested by a sentence shines more by the suggested meaning of a word.

Number of types of dhvani

भेदा अष्टादशास्य तत् ।।41।। अस्येति ध्वनेः।।

There are 18 types of dhvani [arthantarasankramita, atyantatiraskrita, rasadidhvani, 2 types of shabdashaktimula, 12 types of arthashaktimula and 1 ubhayashaktimula]. Each of these 18 can either manifest in a pada [word] or vakya [sentence]. Sok –

we have 18×2=36. But Ubhayashaktimula can occur only in vakya and not pada. Hence 36 – 1=35 . So dhvani is of 35 types totally according to Mammata  शब्दार्थोभयशक्त्युद्भवस्तु पदप्रकाश्यो न भवतीति पञ्चतिं्रशद्भेदाः

ननु रसादीनां बहुभेदत्वेन कथमष्टादशेत्यत आह। रसादीनामनन्तत्वाद्भेद एको हि गण्यते।

How is it that the count is just 18 when there are many rasa etc? since the rasadis are innumerable, they have been taken as one.

Rasas are 9. Of these shringara is of 2 types, vipralamba and samboga. The permutation combination of all possible alambana and uddeepana vibhavas, anubhavas and vyabhicharins is innumerable. If this is the case with one rasa, we have 8 more rasas and then the bhavadis. Therefore they are taken as one type only considering that they have the common factor of belonging to asamlakshyakramavyangya.

Prabandha dhvani : प्रबन्धेऽप्यर्थशक्तिभूः ।।42

Suggestion based on the power of meaning [arthashaktimula] can occur also in Prabandha. An example given is the conversation between a vulture and a jackal. It is called गृद्रगोमायुसंवाद and has been taken from the Shantiparva of Mahabharata.

यथा गृद्रगोमायुसंवादादौ। अलं स्थित्वा श्मसानेऽस्मिन् गृध्रगोमायुसंकुले। कङ्कालबहले घोरे सर्वप्राणिभयंकरे ।। 93 ।। न चेह जीवितः कश्वित् कालधर्ममुपागतः। प्रियो वा यदि वा द्वेष्यः प्राणिनां गतिरीदृशी ।। 94 ।

Enough of your stay in the burial ground which is replete with vultures and jackals. The presence of many skeletons is horrible and can produce fear in all animals. None in this world has become alive after meeting death, whether he is a dear or a hated one. This is the way of all living beings”

इति दिवा प्रभवतो गृध्रस्य पुरुषविसर्जनपरमिदं वचनम्। This is told by the vulture who has power only during the day, in order to send people away from that place.

आदित्योऽयं स्थितो मूढाः स्नेहं कुरुत सांप्रतम्। बहुविघ्नो मुहूर्तोऽयं जीवेदपि कदाचन ।। 95 ।। अमुं कनकवर्णाभं बालमप्राप्तयौवनम्। गृध्रवाक्यात्कर्थ मूढास्त्यजध्वमविशङ्किताः ।। 96 ।।

“Oh fools, the sun is still there. Show your love now. This time has many obstacles. The dead boy may possibly live. Oh fools, how can you trust the words of the vulture and abandon this boy, who has not yet attained youth and whose complexion is golden?”

इति निशि विजृम्भमाणस्य गोमायोर्जनव्यावर्तननिष्ठं च वचनमिति प्रबन्ध एव प्रथते। this has been told by the jackal who is active at night.

Neither the vulture nor the jackal care for the boy or the feelings of other people. Each of them have the selfish motive of devouring the body. So the vulture wants them to abandon the body immediately [when there is sunlight] while the jackal wants people to wait till sun sets.

Sankara : It is a combination of 2 or more dhvanis in one stanza or sentence and these have a mutual relationship. Based on the relationship, Sankara is of 3 types.

  1. Anugrahyaanugrahaka sankaraha: Here one dhvani assists or blesses the other dhvani.
  2. Sandeha sankaraha: Here there is a doubt as to which type of dhvani needs to be accepted.
  3. Ekavyanjakaanupravesha sankaraha: Here 2 types of dhvanis occur in one and the same suggestive expression.

Samsristi : Here again there are 2 or more dhvani in one stanza or sentence. But unlike sankara, here there is no mutual relation or dependence.


Mammata classifies kavya as Uthama, Madhyama and Adhama. Uthama kavya is one filled with dhvani or rich in suggested meaning. Madhyama kavya is one in which dhvani becomes subordinated. It is also called Gunibhootavyangya. Adhama kavya is one which is lacking of dhvani and it is also called chitra kavya.

अगूढमपरस्याङ्गं वाच्यसिद्धयङ्गमस्फुटम्। संदिग्धतुल्यप्राधान्ये काव्काक्षिप्तँमसुन्दरम् ।।45।। व्यङ्ग्यमेवं गुणीभूतव्यङ्ग्यस्याष्टौ भिदाः स्मृताः।

Mammata has mentioned 8 types of Gunibhootavyangya.

  1. Agoodavyangya: Not properly concealed.

The suggested meaning or dhvani has importance only when it is subtly implied and not too obvious. In this case however the subtlety is lacking and the meaning is too obvious.

  1. Aparangavyangya: Suggested meaning is subservient to something else.

Here the rasa etc or the reverberated meaning becomes subsidiary to another rasa or the denoted meaning. For example, Sringara rasa becoming subservient to karuna rasa in Ramayana.

  1. Vachyasiddyanga vyangya: Suggested meaning is for the accomplishment of the denoted meaning.

Vyangya is applied for Vachya siddhi i.e., better clarity of the denoted meaning is obtained through vyangya.

  1. Asphutavyangya: Unclear or obtuse.

The suggested meaning is not clearly conveyed.

अदृष्टे दर्सनोत्कण्ठा दृष्टे विच्छेदभीरुता। नादृष्टेन न दृष्टेन भवता लभ्यते सुखम् ।। 128 ।।

When you are out of sight, there is a longing to see you. When you are seen there is the fear of separation. There is no happiness from you even when you are seen or not seen. Here the suggested meaning is “Do something by which you are seen and there is no fear of separation too.” This idea is not very clearly conveyed.

  1. Sandigdhapradhanya:

There is a doubt as to which one of the 2 is prominent – the denoted meaning or the suggested meaning.

  1. Tulyapradhanya: Equal prominence.

Here there is equal scope for the denoted as well as the suggested meanings.

  1. Kaakvakshiptam:

Here the suggested meaning is implied by the tone of the speaker [kaku]. The vachyartha negates the actions but the vyangyartha affirms it.

  1. Asundara: Not beautiful.

Here the suggested meaning is not as charming as the denoted meaning. The vachyartha nourishes and enhances the rasa better and so it is more beautiful than the suggested meaning.

Refutation of opponents of Vyanjana

Mammata establishes the role of vyanjana firmly by defeating the opponents of Vyanjana vada. 2 main theories that were proposed to oppose vyanjana are

  1. नैमित्तिकानुसारेण निमित्तानि कल्प्यन्ते
  2. सोऽयमिषोरिव दीर्घदीर्घतरो व्यापारः ll  यत्परः शब्दः स शब्दार्थः ll

नैमित्तिकानुसारेण निमित्तानि कल्प्यन्तेcauses are guessed from the effects.

Nimitta means cause and Naimittika is that which results from a Nimitta, ie; effect. Nimitta is of 2 types – Kaaraka and Jnaapaka.

Kaaraka is the actual cause like mud or wheel in respect of the effect ghata and Jnaapaka could be just an indicator or illuminator like the lamp. If there is an object X, a lamp only illuminates and helps us cognise it [see it]. It does not help us to know what the object is unless we know the convention associated with it.

Something becomes known [by a word] only if a convention is established. This convention happens only when there is a correlation. So as long as the correlation of the cause and effect has not been ascertained, how can one know the effect from the cause or cause from the effect. Therefore it is not proper to accept that causes are guessed from the effects.

“सोऽयमिषोरिव दीर्घदीर्घतरो व्यापारः” इति “यत्परः शब्दः शब्दार्थः” इति च विधिरेवात्र वाच्य इति

Some say “that the function of a word is like the action of an arrow and so is very very long. So the meaning of the word is the sense finally desired to be conveyed.” And so Vidhi [affirmative] of the denoted meaning is what is being conveyed.

It is like saying that tatparyartha which arises on the basis of abhida or denoted meaning is the sense that is desired to be finally conveyed. [side note when a lady sarcastically says to her lover “go, no one is stopping you” the final sense conveyed is that the lover is allowed to go. But in reality it is just the other way. Here the tone of the speaker suggests sarcasm. This cannot be known by the function of abhida or tatparyartha]

भूतभव्यसमुच्चारणे भूतं भव्यायोपदिश्यते

When that which is accomplished [bhuta] and that which is to be accomplished [bhavya] are both mentioned, the former is only for enjoining the later.

[When something new is added to an already known fact, the enjoining is only for understanding the new factor. So the sentence need not be understood from scratch.]

ऋत्विक्प्रचरणे प्रमाणान्तरात् सिद्धे “”लोहितोष्णीषा ऋत्विजः प्रचरन्ति”” इत्यत्र लोहितोष्णीषत्वमात्रं विधेयम्। for instance consider the Vedic statement “the red-turbaned priests move”. Here the movement of priests is already known [bhuta] and so what is enjoined here is that the priests should wear red turbans while moving [bhavya].

This is called Adagdadahana nyaya”.  Fire burns everything. But everything includes only unburned things and not ash. Therefore only that which is already not known is enjoined.

Arguments in favour of Vyanjana :

  • If comprehension of meaning of a sentence happens only on the basis of abhida, then how can one explain different emotions like happiness [when one hears that a son is born] and sorrow [when one hears that his unmarried daughter is pregnant]?
  • Both the schools of Mimamsa accept Lakshana. Mammata’s argument is why accept Laksha when even that can be explained as a longer function of abhida?
  • Doshas are classified as nitya [permanent] and anitya [temporary]. Asaadhutva or grammatical error is a permanent dosha while Kashtatva [harshness] is a dosha in sringara and shanta rasas, but is allowed in Vira rasa. So it is classified as a temporary dosha based on the context.  Mammata says if everythings is based on abhida then why have the category of anitya dosha?
  • The phrase गतोऽस्तमर्कः has only one denoted meaning “the sun has set”. The suggested meaning may be any of the following. 1) This is the opportunity to attack the enemy. 2) Begin the voyage to meet your lover. 3) Your beloved has almost come. 4) Let us retire from our work. 5) Let us begin our evening rituals. 6) Don’t go far. 7) Allow the cows to enter the house. 8) No longer will the heat be here now. 9) Let the merchandise be packed. 10) My beloved has not come till now.
  • There is also a difference of time between the 2 because denoted meaning always flashes first and the suggested appears afterwards.
  • The Ashraya [locus] of the 2 functions is also different. Denotation always depends on the word while suggestion may depend on word, part of the word, its meaning, varnas or the structure [rachana].
  • Denoted meaning is known from grammar while the suggested meaning requires grammar and clarity of imagination assisted by the context etc.
  • The effect also varies. Denoted meaning produces ordinary knowledge in every hearer while suggested meaning produces aesthetic delight in sahrdayas.
  • Vachakas [denotative words] require a meaning fixed by convention, while Vyanjakas [suggestive words] do not require it.

तत्क्वचिदपि नीलपीतादौ भेदो न स्यात् । Despite the above arguments if still one believes that Vachaktva and Vyanjakatva are the same then there would be no difference between blue and yellow. With the above arguments Mammata has established that Vachakatva is not Vyanjakatva  न वाचकत्वमेव व्यञ्जकत्वम्।

Refutation of Bhaaktavadins:  Mammata then proceeds to refute scholars who say that Vyanjana is nothing but Bhakti or Lakshana. Lakshana is of many types and is always regularly related to the primary meaning.

  • Unlike lakshana, Vyanjana 1) may have a regular relation with primary meaning 2) may not have a regular relation with the primary meaning or 3) may have an indirect relation.
  • Lakshana is said to be a tail of abhida as it always depends on abhida, while Vyanjana may or may not follow abhida and lakshana. In some cases suggestion depends on the varnas which have no abhida at all. Also vyanjana can occur from gestures like side glances where words are not at all involved.

Chitrakavya: While classifying kavya, Mammata says that chitrakavya is of the Adhama category, as it is devoid of dhvani. It is of 2 types shabdachitra and arthachitra.

शब्दचित्रेऽर्थस्याचित्रत्वम् अर्थचित्रे वा शब्दस्य। It is to be remembered that in shabdachitra, shabda is predominant and artha is subsidiary. Similarly in arthachitra, artha is pradhana and shabda is subordinate.

रूपकादिरलंकारस्तस्यान्यैर्बहुधोदितः। कान्तमपि निर्भूषं विभाति वनिताननम्।

The face of a beautiful lady does not shine, if it is totally devoid of ornamentation.

The need for rupaka, upama etc alankaras have been mentioned here.

Some feel that figures of speech like Rupaka are exterior. Elegant nouns and verbs [saushabdya] is the real ornament. Bhamaha too opposes this view. He affirms that upama, rupaka etc are arthalankaras, while anuprasa, yamaka etc are shabdalankaras.

Chitrakavya can have the description of a vibhava or anubhava or vyabhicharibhava of some rasa. But this does not result in the relishment of the rasa. For example, moonrise is a well-known vibhava of sringara rasa. If the description of moon rise occurs in a kavya where the meeting of lovers is describes, then it enhances the relishment of sringara rasa and becomes dhvani. If it stops at the description of moonrise as a natural occurrence then it is not dhvani.

Chitra Mimamsa by Appayya Dheekshitar

This is an elaborate descriptive work with full examples of the Lakshana of the more important Arthalankaras. Following this pattern, Sri Jagannadha Pandita wrote his famous Rasagangadhara. The Chitra Mimamsa has been written in the traditional sastraic manner. Chitramimamsa-khandana was a work by Jagannatha Pandita that includes his uncompromising and abusive criticisms of Appaya.

Video – Ramayana Sundarakanda Selected verses

Ramayana Shlokas with Anvaya for KSOU MA

For KSOU MA second year students, some selected verses, from Sundarakandam of Valmiki Ramayanam until Canto 22, are listed here along with anvaya. The main source is Changes and correction have been done where required.  A reference to the year and question number is also mentioned in this format [2010.01]. Refer other posts in this blog with more details and additional shlokas.



५-१-१ ततो रावणनीतायाः सीतायाः शत्रुकर्शनः

ततो रावणनीतायाः सीतायाः शत्रुकर्शनः | इयेष पदमन्वेष्टुं चारणाचरिते पथि ||५-१-१

तत: शत्रुकर्शनः रावण-नीतायाः सीतायाः पदम् अन्वेष्टुं चारणाचरिते पथि इयेष |

[Samkshepa  1]

५-१-१८ स महासत्त्वसंनादः

स महासत्त्वसंनादः शैलपीडानिमित्तजः | पृथिवीं पूरयामास दिशश्चोपवनानि च ||५-१-१८

स: शैल+पीडा+निमित्तजः महा+सत्त्व+संनादः  पृथिवीं दिशः च उपवनानि च पूरयामास |


५-१-३३ आनुपूर्व्येण वृत्तं च

आनुपूर्व्येण वृत्तं च लाङ्गूलं लोमभिश्चितम् | उत्पतिष्यन् विचिक्षेप पक्षिराज इवोरगम् ||५-१-३३

उत्पतिष्यन् (सः), आनुपूर्व्येण वृत्तं, लोमभि: चितं च, लाङ्गूलं, पक्षिराज: उरगम् इव, विचिक्षेप |


५-१-३९ यथा राघवनिर्मुक्तश्शरः

यथा राघवनिर्मुक्तश्शरः श्वसनविक्रमः | गच्छेत्तद्वद्गमिष्यामि लङ्कां रावणपालिताम् || ५-१-३९

यथा राघव+निर्मुक्तः श्वसन+विक्रमः शरः गच्छेत् तद्वत् रावण+पालितां लङ्कां गमिष्यामि ||

[samkshepa 2]

५-१-४७ ऊरुवेगोद्धता

ऊरुवेगोद्धता वृक्षा मुहूर्तं कपिमन्वयुः |प्रस्थितं दीर्घमध्वानं स्वबन्धुमिव बान्धवाः || ५-१-४७

ऊरु+वेग+उद्धता: वृक्षा: कपिं मुहूर्तम् अन्वयुः | दीर्घमध्वानं प्रस्थितं स्वबन्धुं बान्धवाः इव |

2008.01, [Dushyant]

५-१-५७ पिबन्निव बभौ

पिबन्निव बभौ चापि सोर्मिमालं महार्णवम् || ५-१-५७ पिपासुरिव चाकाशं ददृशे स महाकपिः |

स: महाकपिः, स+ऊर्मि+मालं महा+आर्णवम्, पिबन् इव, बभौ च | आकाशं पिपासु: इव अपि च ददृशे |


५-१-६१ लाङ्गूलं च

लाङ्गूलश्च समाविद्धं प्लवमानस्य शोभते ||५-१-६१अम्बरे वायुपुत्रस्य शक्रध्वज इवोच्छ्रितः |

अम्बरे प्लवमानस्य, वायुपुत्रस्य, समाविद्धं, लाङ्गूलं, उच्छ्रितः शक्र+ध्वजः इव, शोभते च |


५-१-१०६ जातरूपमयैः

जातरूपमयैः शृङ्गैर्भ्राजमानैः स्वयंप्रभैः || ५-१-१०६ आदित्यशतसङ्काशः सोऽभवद्गिरिसत्तमः|

स: गिरिसत्तमः, जातरूपमयैः, स्वयं+प्रभैः भ्राजमानैः, शृङ्गैः,  आदित्य+शत+सङ्काशः अभवत् |


५-१-१६९ प्रविष्टोऽस्मि हि ते

प्रविष्टोऽस्मि हि ते वक्त्रं दाक्षायणि नमोऽस्तु ते |गमिष्ये यत्र वैदेही सत्यश्चासीद्वरस्तव || ५-१-१६९

दाक्षायणि | ते वक्त्रं प्रविष्टः अस्मि हि | ते नमः अस्तु | यत्र वैदेही (तत्र अहं) गमिष्ये | तव वर: सत्यं आसीत् च |

2007.01 [ Nochur ]

५-१-१९८ यस्य त्वेतानि चत्वारि

यस्य त्वेतानि चत्वारि वानरेन्द्र यथा तव || ५-१-१९८ स्मृतिर्धृतिर्मतिर्दाक्ष्यं (\धृतिर्दृष्टिर्मतिर्दाक्ष्यं) स कर्मसु न सीदति |

वानरेन्द्र | यस्य धृति: दृष्टि: मति: दाक्ष्यं इति एतानि चत्वारि (सन्ति) यथा तव (सन्ति), स: कर्मसु न सीदति |


५-२-५ स तु वीर्यवतां श्रेष्ठः

स तु वीर्यवतां श्रेष्ठः प्लवतामपि चोत्तमः | जगाम वेगवाल्लँङ्कां लङ्घयित्वा महोदधिम् || ५-२-५

वीर्यवतां श्रेष्ठः, प्लवतां अपि उत्तमः च, वेगवान् स: तु, महा+उदधिं लङ्घयित्वा, लङ्कां जगाम |


५-२-२७ न हि युद्धेन वै लङ्का शक्या जेतुं सुरैरपि

आगत्यापीह हरयो भविष्यन्ति निरर्थकाः | न हि युद्धेन वै लङ्का शक्या जेतुं सुरैरपि || ५-२-२७

इह आगत्यापी, हरयः, निरर्थकाः भविष्यन्ति | सुरैः अपि युद्धेन वै लङ्का जेतुं न शक्या हि |

2014.14 [Dushyant]

५-३-३३ द्रक्ष्यामि नगरीं लङ्काम्

द्रक्ष्यामि नगरीं लङ्कां साट्टप्राकारतोरणाम् | इत्यर्थमिह सम्प्राप्तः परं कौतूहलं हि मे || ५-३-३३
साट्ट+प्राकार+तोरणां नगरीं लङ्कां द्रक्ष्यामि  इत्यर्थम् इह सम्प्राप्तः | मे परं कौतूहलं हि |

2010.03 [Nochur]

५-३-४५ अहं तु नगरी लङ्का

अहं तु नगरी लङ्का स्वयमेव प्लवङ्गम || ५-३-४५ निर्जिताहं त्वया वीर विक्रमेण महाबल |

प्लवङ्गम | अहं तु स्वयं एव लङ्का नगरी | वीर | महाबल | अहं विक्रमेण त्वया निर्जिता |


५-४-२ प्रविश्य नगरीं लङ्काम्

प्रविश्य नगरीं लङ्कां कपिराजहितम्करः || ५-४-२ चक्रेऽथ पादं सव्यं च शत्रूणां स तु मूर्धनि |

सः कपि+राज+हितम्करः, लङ्कां नगरीं प्रविश्य, अथ, सव्यं पादं तु, शत्रूणां मूर्धनि, चक्रे |

2009.01 [Dushyant] [Nochur] [samkshepa 3]

५-५-१० मत्तप्रमत्तानि समाकुलानि

मत्तप्रमत्तानि समाकुलानि रथाश्वभद्रासनसङ्कुलानि | वीरश्रिया चापि समाकुलानि  ददर्श धीमान् स कपिः कुलानि || ५-५-१०

सः वीरः धीमान् कपिः, मत्तप्रमत्तानि समाकुलानि रथ+अश्व+भद्र+आसन+सङ्कुलानि, श्रिया च अपि समाकुलानि, कुलानि, ददर्श |


५-६-१६ गृहाद् गृहं राक्षसानाम्

गृहाद्गृहम् राक्षसानामुद्यानानि च वानरः | वीक्षमाणो ह्यसंत्रस्तः प्रासादांश्च चचार सः || ५-६-१६

सः असंत्रस्तः वानरः, राक्षसानाम् गृहात् गृहम्, उद्यानानि च, प्रासादान् च, वीक्षमाण: हि, चचार |


५-१०-५४ आश्पोटयामास

आश्पोटयामास चुचुम्ब पुच्छम् | ननन्द चिक्रीड जगौ जगाम |
स्तम्भान् अरोहन् निपपात भूमौ | निदर्शयन् स्वां प्रकृतिं कपीनाम् || ५-१०-५४

आश्पोटयामास | पुच्छम् चुचुम्ब | ननन्द | चिक्रीड | जगौ जगाम | कपीनाम् स्वां प्रकृतिं निदर्शयन्, स्तम्भान् अरोहन्, भूमौ निपपात |

2011.04 [Nochur]

५-११-२, ५-११-३ न रामेण वियुक्ता सा

न रामेण वियुक्ता सा स्वप्तुमर्हति भामिनी || ५-११-२ न भोक्तुं नाप्यलङ्कर्तुं न पानमुपसेवितुम्  |
नान्यं नरमुपस्थातुं सुराणामपि चेश्वरम् | न हि रामसमः कश्चिद्विद्यते त्रिदशेष्वपि || ५-११-३
अन्येयमिति निश्चित्य पानभूमौ चचार सः |

रामेण वियुक्ता, भामिनी, सा, स्वप्तुम् न अर्हति, न भोक्तुं,  न अपि अलङ्कर्तुं, न पानम् उपसेवितुम्  | सुराणाम्  ईश्वरम् अपि च, अन्यं नरम्  उपस्थातुं  न (अर्हति) | त्रिदशेषु अपि रामसमः कश्चित् न हि विद्यते | इयम् अन्या इति निश्चित्य, पानभूमौ, सः चचार |


५-११-४३ मनो हि हेतुः

मनो हि हेतुः सर्वेषामिन्द्रियाणां प्रवर्तने || ५-११-४३  शुभाशुभास्ववस्थासु तच्च मे सुव्यवस्थितम् |

शुभ+अशुभासु अवस्थासु सर्वेषाम् इन्द्रियाणाम् प्रवर्तने मनः हि हेतुः | तत् च मे (मनः) सुव्यवस्थितम् |

2007.03 [Nochur]

५-१२-६ वृथा जातो मम श्रमः

दृष्टम् अन्तःपुरम् सर्वम् दृष्ट्वा रावण योषितः | न सीता दृश्यते साध्वी वृथा जातो मम श्रमः || ५-१२-६

अन्तःपुरम् सर्वं दृष्टम् | रावण-योषितः दृष्ट्वा साध्वी सीता न दृश्यते | मम श्रमः वृथा जातः |

[Samkshepa 4]

५-१२-१६ स विचचार महा कपिः

प्रविशन् निष्पतमः च अपि प्रपतन्न् उत्पतन्न् अपि |सर्वमप्यवकाशं स विचचार महाकपिः || ५-१२-१६

प्रविशन्,  निष्पतमः च अपि, प्रपतन्न्, उत्पतन्न् अपि, सः महाकपिः सर्वम् अपि अवकाशम् विचचार || [samkshepa 5]

५-१३-१२ अदुष्टा दुष्ट भावाभिः

अथवा राक्षसेन्द्रस्य पत्नीभिरसितेक्षणा || ५-१३-१२ अदुष्टा दुष्टभावाभिर्भक्षिता सा भविष्यति |

अथवा, असित+ईक्षणा, अदुष्टा, सा, दुष्ट+भावाभि:, राक्षस+इन्द्रस्य पत्नीभि:, भक्षिता भविष्यति |

2009.02 Part 1

५-१३-१३ सम्पूर्णचन्द्रप्रतिमम्

सम्पूर्णचन्द्रप्रतिमं पद्मपत्रनिभेक्षणम् || ५-१३-१३ रामस्य ध्यायती वक्त्रं पञ्चत्वं कृपणा गता |

सम्पूर्ण+चन्द्र+प्रतिमं पद्म+पत्र+निभ+ईक्षणं, रामस्य वक्त्रं ध्यायती, कृपणा, पञ्चत्वं गता |

2009.02. Part 2

५-१३-१८ निवेद्यमाने दोषः

निवेद्यमाने दोषः स्याद्दोषः स्यादनिवेदने || ५-१३-१८ कथं नु खलु कर्तव्यं विषमं प्रतिभाति मे |

निवेद्यमाने दोषः स्यात् | अनिवेदने दोषः स्यात् | कथं नु खलु कर्तव्यम् ? मे विषमं प्रतिभाति |


५-१३-५५ न हि इयम् विचिता मया

अशोक वनिकाचेयं दृश्यते या महाद्रुमा (\अशोकवनिका च अपि महती इयम् महा द्रुमा) || ५-१३-५५ इमाम् अभिगमिष्यामि न हीयम् विचिता मया |

महती महाद्रुमा च अपि इयम् अशोकवनिका | इमाम् अभिगमिष्यामि | इयम् मया न हि विचिता |

[Samkshepa 6]

५-१४-११ पुष्पावकीर्णः शुशुभे

पुष्पावकीर्णः शुशुभे हनुमान् मारुतात्मजः | अशोकवनिकामध्ये यथा पुष्पमयो गिरिः || ५-१४-११

यथा पुष्पमयः गिरिः,  पुष्प+अवकीर्णः,  मारुत+आत्मजः, हनुमान्, अशोक+वनिका+मध्ये, शुशुभे |


५-१५-१८ ततो मलिनसम्वीताम्

ततो मलिनसम्वीतां राक्षसीभिः समावृताम् || ५-१५-१८ उपवासकृशां दीनां निःस्वसन्तीं पुनः पुनः |

ततः मलिन+सम्वीतां, राक्षसीभिः समावृताम्, उपवास+कृशाम्, दीनाम्, पुनः पुनः निःस्वसन्तीं  (ददर्श) |

[Nochur] [Samkshepa 7]

५-१५-१९ ददर्श शुक्लपक्षादौ

ददर्श शुक्लपक्षादौ चन्द्ररेखामिवामलाम् || ५-१५-१९

शुक्ल+पक्ष+आदौ, अमलां चन्द्र+रेखाम्, इव, ददर्श |

[Nochur] [Samkshepa 8 ]

५-१५-२६ तां समीक्ष्य विशालाक्षीमधिकम्

तां समीक्ष्य विशालाक्षीमधिकं मलिनां कृशाम् || ५-१५-२६ तर्कयामास सीतेति कारणैरुपपादिभिः |

विशाल+अक्षीम्, अधिकं मलिनां, कृशां, ताम्, समीक्ष्य, उपपादिभिः कारणैः, सीता इति तर्कयामास |

[ Samkshepa 9]

५-१५-५२ अस्या देव्या मनः तस्मिन्

अस्या देव्या मनः तस्मिन् मनः तस्य च अस्याम् प्रतिष्ठितम् | तेन इयम् स च धर्म आत्मा मुहूर्तम् अपि जीवति || ५-१५-५२

अस्या देव्या मनः तस्मिन् मनः तस्य च अस्याम् प्रतिष्ठितम् | तेन इयम् स च धर्म आत्मा मुहूर्तम् अपि जीवति |

[Nochur] [Samkshepa 10]

५-१५-५४  जगाम मनसा रामम्

एवम् सीताम् तदा दृष्ट्वा हृष्टः पवन सम्भवः | जगाम मनसा रामम् प्रशशंस च तम् प्रभुम् || ५-१५-५४

तदा एवम् सीताम् दृष्ट्वा हृष्टः पवनसम्भवः तम् प्रभुम् रामम् मनसा जगाम, प्रशशंस च |

[Samkshepa 11]

५-१६-१८ धर्मज्ञस्य कृतज्ञस्य

धर्मज्ञस्य कृतज्ञस्य रामस्य विदितात्मनः | इयं सा दयिता भार्या राक्षसीवशमागता || ५-१६-१८

इयम्, सा, धर्मज्ञस्य कृतज्ञस्य विदित+आत्मनः रामस्य दयिता भार्या,  राक्षसी वशम् आगता |


५-१६-२६ भर्ता नाम परम्

भर्ता नाम परं नार्या भूषणं भूषणादपि | एषा हि रहिता तेन शोभनार्हा (\भूषणार्हा)  न शोभते || ५-१६-२६

भूषणात् अपि नार्याः परं भूषणं भर्ता नाम | तेन रहिता, शोभन+अर्हा हि, एषा, न शोभते |

2009.04, 2010.04, 2012.03

५-१९-१४ पद्मिनीमिव

पद्मिनीमिव विध्वस्तां हतशूरां चमूमिव |प्रभामिव तमोध्वस्तामुपक्षीणामिवापगाम् || ५-१९-१४

विध्वस्तां पद्मिनीम् इव, हतशूरां चमूम् इव,  तमोध्वस्तां प्रभां इव, उपक्षीणाम् अपगाम् इव (सीता आसीत्) |


५-२२-२१ नापहर्तुमहं शक्या

नापहर्तुमहं शक्या तस्य (/त्वया) रामस्य धीमतः |विधिस्तव वधार्थाय विहितो नात्र संशयः || ५-२२-२१

धीमतः रामस्य  अहं, त्वया अपहर्तुम् शक्या न  | तव वधार्थाय विधिः विहितः | अत्र संशयः न |


Video – Kathopanishad Chanting – quotations

Selected verses from Kathopanishad –from the question papers for KSOU MA Sanskrit (2007 to 2015). Refer the supporting videos — one with the chantings by Ätmaprajnänanda Saraswati and another video with the explanation in English for the selected verses.


1.    Beginning

ॐ  ॥ अथ कठोपनिषद् ॥
ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सहवीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु । मा विद्विषावहै ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

ॐ उशन् ह वै वाजश्रवस: सर्ववेदसं ददौ, तस्य ह नचिकेता नाम पुत्र आस ।

2.    अनन्दा नाम ते लोकास्तान् स गच्छति ता ददत् ॥ ३ ॥ २००८.०१, २०१३.०१

पीतोदका जग्धतृणा दुग्धदोहा निरिन्द्रियाः । अनन्दा नाम ते लोकास्तान् स गच्छति ता ददत् ॥ १.१.३ ॥

पीतोदकाः जग्धतृणाः दुग्धदोहाः निरिन्द्रियाः । अनन्दाः नाम ते लोकाः तान् सः गच्छति ताः ददत् ॥ १.१.३ ॥

(एते) पीतोदकाः जग्धतृणाः दुग्धदोहाः निरिन्द्रियाः  (सन्ति) | अनन्दाः नाम ते लोकाः (सन्ति) | ताः (धेनवः) ददत् सः तान् (लोकान्) गच्छति ॥ ३ ॥

पीतोदका: drunk water जग्धतृणा: eaten grass दुग्धदोहा: having given milk निरिन्द्रियाः become sterile । अनन्दा नाम Joyless  लोकाः worlds तान् स them he गच्छति goes/reaches ता: ददत्  giving away (as gifts) ॥

These cows have drunk water, eaten grass and given milk for the last time, and their senses have lost all vigor. He who gives these undoubtedly goes to joyless realms.

Among the verses on नचिकेतसो यमसकाशप्राप्ति:, this one is about नचिकेतस: स्वागतं चिन्ता |

(एते) पीतोदका: जग्धतृणा:दुग्धदोहा: निरिन्द्रियाः (भवन्ति) | ता: ददत् स: अनन्दा नाम ते लोका: गच्छति |
This verse shows the dedication of Nachiketa and his father, Vaajasravas’ ignorance. He gives importance to charity in the Yagna. There are 3 meanings for the word Yagna – देव पूजा, सङ्गति करण, दान.  Dhaana or charity is very critical. Nachiketa comes out of curiosity to see what things are being given away in charity, by which his father will get to go to the joyful realms – the उत्तम लोका, आनन्दा लोका.पीतोदका: जग्धतृणा:दुग्धदोहा: निरिन्द्रियाःare all in past participle भूतकृदन्तरूप. They have all done their activity and are not in a position to perform any activity. The cows are not able to drink water, eat grass, give milk or have any strength in their senses. The result of such a charity will not be good. न नन्दालोका: अनन्दा लोका: | Nachiketa feels sorry that his father will go to joyless worlds only. This is a preamble to the story of Nachiketa’s meeting with Yama.

3.    सस्यमिव मर्त्यः पच्यते सस्यमिवाजायते पुनः ॥ ६ ॥ २००९.०१, २०१४.०१

अनुपश्य यथा पूर्वे प्रतिपश्य तथाऽपरे । सस्यमिव मर्त्यः पच्यते सस्यमिवाजायते पुनः ॥ १.१.६ ॥

अनुपश्य यथा पूर्वे प्रतिपश्य तथा अपरे । सस्यम् इव मर्त्यः पच्यते सस्यम् इव अजायते पुनः ॥ १.१.६ ॥

यथा पूर्वे अनुपश्य | तथा अपरे प्रतिपश्य ।मर्त्यः सस्यम् इव पच्यते |  पुनः मर्त्यः सस्यम् इव अजायते |

अनुपश्य Consider यथा पूर्वे the way your forefathers behaved प्रतिपश्य तथा अपरे and consider also how the others behave now. सस्यम् इव Just like corn  मर्त्यः man पच्यतेdecays  सस्यम् इव अजायते पुनः and is reborn like corns sprouting.

Look back to those who lived before and look to those who live now. Like grain the mortal decays and like grain again springs up (is reborn).

Among the verses on नचिकेतसो यमसकाशप्राप्ति:, this one is पितरं प्रति नचिकेतस उक्ति: |

Since Nachiketa kept asking to whom Vyaajasravas is going to denote him, his father angrily says that he will be given to Yama. Before leaving for the Yama Loka, Nachiketa says this to his father.

Because his father has spelt out a few words in his mood of anger, and later on only he realizes what he has done. Just look at our predecessors and our followers. We need to follow their steps. Nachiketa feels that his father is not doing the right thing and that he does not have the right knowledge of how the sacrifice had to be conducted. His father also got angry when questioned about donating his son. Giving things in charity, which are of no use to the receiver does not result in good benefits. This ignorance and the anger are not the right features of a Jnaani or an enlightened soul. So Nachiketa is giving advice to his father. He points out that our predecessors never spoke untruth. So he tells his father not to do against the predecessors’ actions. The man matures like a crop. From the seed of the crop again, another crop emerges. (अ in अजायते indicates past tense and not negation). “Don’t feel bad that I am going to die. I will come back. This body might die. But I will remain in the form of the Atman. This has been told by our ancestors. This can never go wrong. Though there is continuity of the soul, man cannot live in this earth carrying the same body until eternity. So this transient life has to end. So make your words come true and send me to the Yama Loka”, says Nachiketa to his father, convincing him to send him to Yama Loka.

4.   अस्तीत्येके नायमस्तीति चैके

येयं प्रेते विचिकित्सा मनुष्ये — अस्तीत्येके नायमस्तीति चैके । एतद्विद्यामनुशिष्टस्त्वयाऽहं वराणामेष वरस्तृतीयः ॥ १.१.२० ॥

या इयं प्रेते विचिकित्सा मनुष्ये  अस्ति इति एके न अयम् अस्ति इति च एके । एतत् विद्याम् अनुशिष्ट: त्वया अहम्  वराणाम् एष: वर: तृतीयः ॥ २० ॥

मनुष्येप्रेते (सति) अयम् अस्ति इति एके, अयम् न अस्ति इति च एके (इति) या इयं विचिकित्सा (भवति), एतत् विद्याम् त्वया अहम् अनुशिष्ट: | एष: वर: वराणाम् तृतीयः वर: (भवति) |

या इयं this  प्रेते on the death विचिकित्सा doubt मनुष्ये- of man अस्ति ‘It exists” इति एके some say नायं ‘it does not’ अस्ति ‘exist’ इति च एके say the others. एतद् this विद्यां would like to know अनुशिष्टः being taught त्वया by you अहं I वराणां among the boons एष this वरः boon तृतीयः is the third one.

Nachikētas said: There is this doubt regarding what becomes of a man after death. Some say he exists, others that he does not exist. This knowledge I desire, being instructed by thee. Of the boons this is the third boon.

Among the verses on तृतीयो वर:, this one is आत्मज्ञानप्रार्थना |

Having reached the abode of Yama, Nachiketa waits for 3 days with any food, for Yama to return to his abode. To save himself from the ill-effects of not extending hospitality to the guest, Yama offers three boons to Nachiketa. As the first boon, Nachiketa prays for the peace of mind for his father. For the second boon, Nachiketa gains the knowledge about the construction of the fire altar and other actions associated with the fire sacrifice or Yagna which gets named after him as Naachiketaagni. This shloka has the third boon asked by Nachiketa. He has become aware of the extra-ordinary and the advantageous situation (सदवकाशा) that he is placed in. So he wants to make the best use of the third boon as he realizes the greatness of Yama. So he wants to gain the highest knowledge from Yama.

Being told to ask for the third boon, Nachiketa says this. “This is an eternal doubt that everyone has. Having died, a few people say that he continues to exist in a different state where the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect have been silenced. He exists beyond the body as the Atma. Another party says that there is no existence after death. We are not able to prove by Pratyaksha (Perception) or Anumaana (Inference) [The other means of knowledge or Pramaanaas are Upamaana (Comparison), Saabda (Verbal Testimony) , etc.]. This specialized field of knowledge (Vignaanam) is what I want to know. This knowledge is about the life after death. I was looking for a knowledgeable person to learn about it. As the third boon, kindly enlighten me with this knowledge.”

5.   कामानां त्वा कामभाजं करोमि (२०१५.०२.०२)

एतत्तुल्यं यदि मन्यसे वरं वृणीष्व वित्तं चिरजीविकां च । महाभूमौ नचिकेतस्त्वमेधि कामानां त्वा कामभाजं करोमि ॥ १.१.२४॥ (2015.02.90m)

एतत् तुल्यं यदि मन्यसे वरं वृणीष्व वित्तं चिरजीविकां च । महाभूमौ नचिकेतः त्वम्  एधि कामानां त्वा कामभाजं करोमि ॥ १.१.२४॥

यदि एतत् तुल्यं वरं मन्यसे, वित्तं चिरजीविकां च वृणीष्व | महाभूमौ नचिकेतः त्वम्  एधि | कामानां कामभाजं त्वा करोमि |

एतत्तुल्यं equal to these (offered in the previous mantra) यदि if मन्यसे you think वरं boon वृणीष्व ask वित्तं wealth चिरजीविकां च and long life. महाभूमौ in this vast region नचिकेतः O Nachiketa त्वं you एधि become कामानां delectable things त्वा you कामभाजं a fit enjoyer करोमि shall I make.

If you consider all that has been enumerated above as equal to the third boon ask for that as you like as also varieties of wealth and longevity. In this expansive universe, O Nachiketas, you prosper. I will make you fit for the enjoyment of all indescribable things.

Among the verses on तृतीयो वर:, this one is आत्मज्ञानफलतुल्यतया उपस्थापितानि कतिचित् फलानि |

Context: शतायुष: पुत्रपौत्रान्वृणीष्व बहून्पशून्हस्तिहिरण्यमश्वान् ।  भूमेर्महदायतनं वृणीष्व स्वयं च जीव शरदो यावदिच्छसि ॥२३॥

6.   नचिकेतो मरणं माऽनुप्राक्षीः ॥२००८.०२

ये ये कामा दुर्लभा मर्त्यलोके — सर्वान् कामाँश्छन्दतः प्रार्थयस्व ।
इमा रामाः सरथाः सतूर्या — न हीदृशा लम्भनीया मनुष्यैः ।
आभिर्मत्प्रत्ताभिः परिचारयस्व — नचिकेतो मरणं माऽनुप्राक्षीः ॥ २५ ॥

ये ये कामा दुर्लभा मर्त्यलोके — सर्वान् कामान् च्छन्दतः प्रार्थयस्व ।
इमा रामाः सरथाः सतूर्याः — न हि ईदृशाः लम्भनीयाः मनुष्यैः ।
आभिः मत्प्रत्ताभिः परिचारयस्व — नचिकेतो मरणं मा अनुप्राक्षीः ॥ २५ ॥

इमा: सरथाः सतूर्या: रामाः ईदृशा: मनुष्यैः न हि लम्भनीया:(भवन्ति)। मत्प्रत्ताभिः आभि: परिचारयस्व | हे नचिकेत, मरणं (i.e., मरणसम्बद्धं प्रश्नं) मा अनुप्राक्षीः (i.e., मा एवं प्रष्टुम् अर्हसि) |

ये ये whatever कामा desirable objects दुर्लभा difficult to get मर्त्यलोके in the world of mortals सर्वान् all those कामान् objects च्छन्दतः according to your choice प्रार्थयस्व seek to obtain. इमा these रामाः celestial nymphs सरथाः endowed with chariots सतूर्याः with musical instruments न never हि indeed ईदृशाः such ones लम्भनीयाः are obtainable मनुष्यैः by humans आभिः by these women मत्प्रत्ताभिः provided by Me (Yama) परिचारयस्व get served नचिकेतो O Nachiketa मरणं regarding death मा never अनुप्राक्षीः ask Me.

Whatsoever objects of desire are difficult to obtain in the realm of mortals, ask them all as thou desirest; these lovely maidens with their chariots and musical instruments, such as are not obtainable by mortals — be served by these whom I give to thee. O Nachikētas, do not ask regarding death.

Among the verses on तृतीयो वर:, this one is आत्मग्नानफलतुल्यतया उपस्थापितानि कतिचित् फलानि |  (तुल्यता = equivalent)

Yama was surprised when Nachiketa sought the knowledge of after-life and the science of soul (atmavignaanam) for his third boon. Even the demi-gods did not know this spiritual secret. It requires a lot of maturity. He discourages the boy from asking for this knowledge by presenting before him more attractive options to the young Nachiketa.

“You should enjoy life with beautiful wives, travelling in chariots, along with musical instruments. Don’t undermine the value of this pleasurable life. I am giving some of the best pleasures that one can wish to enjoy, which are not easily obtained by all. Be served by these women who are being provided by me. Don’t ask me the secret about death”.

Yama’s intention was not to avoid sharing the knowledge with Nachiketa. He was actually happy to see such a good disciple in Nachiketa.  But he wanted to test the Nachiketa’s eagerness, firmness of mind, and sincerity by tempting him with all the material pleasures.

7.    नवित्तेनतर्पणीयोमनुष्यो २०१०.०१, २०१२.०१, २०१४.०१, २०१४.१३,

Man cannot be gratified by wealth.

नवित्तेनतर्पणीयोमनुष्यो   लप्स्यामहे वित्तमद्राक्ष्म चेत्त्वा । जीविष्यामो यावदीशिष्यसि त्वं वरस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ॥ २७ ॥

न वित्तेन तर्पणीयो मनुष्यः लप्स्यामहे वित्तम् अद्राक्ष्म चेत्  त्वा | जीविष्यामः यावत् ईशिष्यसि  त्वं वरस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ||

न not वित्तेन by wealth तर्पणीयो satisfied मनुष्यः is man. लप्स्यामहे we shall acquire वित्तम् wealth अद्राक्ष्म having seen चेत्  त्वा now You. जीविष्यामो We shall live long यावत् as (long) as ईशिष्यसि  त्वं You will rule. वरस्तु But the boon मे worthy of my वरणीयः seeking is स that एव alone.

Man cannot be satisfied by wealth. Shall we possess wealth when we see thee (Death)? Shall we continue to live as long as thou rulest? Therefore that boon alone is to be chosen by me.

Among the shlokas on तृतीयो वर:, this one is नचिकेतसा सर्वकामोपभोगनिन्दा |

मनुष्य: वित्तेन नतर्पणीय: | त्वा अद्राक्ष्म चेत् वित्तम् लप्स्यामहे ।यावत् त्वं इशिष्यसि (तावत् वयं) जीविष्याम:| मे वरणीयः वर: तु स: एव (भवति) |

8.    अतिदीर्घेजीवितेकोरमेत॥२०१२.०२

अजीर्यताममृतानामुपेत्य जीर्यन्मर्त्यः क्वधःस्थः प्रजानन् । अभिध्यायन् वर्णरतिप्रमोदान् अतिदीर्घेजीवितेकोरमेत॥२८॥

अजीर्यतां अमृतानां उपेत्य जीर्यन् मर्त्यः क्वधःस्थः प्रजानन् | अभिध्यायन् वर्ण-रति-प्रमोदान् अतिदीर्घे जीविते को रमेत ||

अजीर्यतां undecaying अमृतानां immortals उपेत्य having reached the proximity जीर्यन् decaying मर्त्यः mortal क्वधःस्थः a dweller of the lower world प्रजानन् but is aware of the higher goals of life अभिध्यायन् having discriminated/deliberated on वर्ण-रति-प्रमोदान् the joys of mingling with sense objects/organs अतिदीर्घे in long जीविते life  को रमेत who indeed will delight? (None indeed will delight)

What man dwelling on the decaying mortal plane, having approached the undecaying immortal one, and having reflected upon the nature of enjoyment through beauty and sense pleasure, would delight in long life?

Among the shlokas on तृतीयो वर:, this one is नचिकेतसा सर्वकामोपभोगनिन्दा |

9.   हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते २०१४.०३

अन्यच्छ्रेयोऽन्यदुतैव प्रेय-स्ते उभे नानार्थे पुरुषँ सिनीतः । तयोः श्रेय आददानस्य साधुभवति हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते ॥ १.२.१ ॥

अन्यत् श्रेयः अन्यत् उ त एव प्रेयः ते उभे नानार्थे पुरुषं सिनीतः । तयोः श्रेयः आददानस्य साधु भवति हीयते अर्थात् यः उ प्रेयः वृणीते ॥

अन्यत् different श्रेयः is the preferable अन्यत् different उत also एव indeed प्रेयः pleasurable. ते these उभे two नानार्थे being aimed at different ends पुरुषं man सिनीतः bind. तयोः among these two श्रेय preferable आददानस्य who chooses साधु good भवति comes about हीयते falls  अर्थात् from the noble goal य he  उ that प्रेयो pleasurable वृणीते chooses.

Yama said: The good is one thing and the pleasant another. These two, having different ends, bind a man. It is well with him who chooses the good. He who chooses the pleasant misses the true end.

Among the shlokas on विद्याविद्ययोर्विद्याया एव श्रेयस्करत्वम्, this one is श्रेय: साधनमुपाददानस्यैव पुरुषार्थ: |

Nachiketa wants to understand relationship between the dualities – AtmaVidyaa and Avidyaa ; Preyas and Shreyas. Man is bound by Vidyaa and Avidyaa in different forms. The path of Preya gives pleasure at the immediate instant. Shreya path gives pleasure in the end.श्रेय: आददानस्य – For the one who chooses the good, साधुभवति – good things will happen to him.  “वृ वरणे” – प्रेय: वृणीते–One who chooses Preya, हीयते – he will be deprived of the desired result. Yama had showed various pleasures that Nachiketas rejected. So Yama feels happy that his student passed in all the tests he conducted for checking the eligibility of the student to receive this highest knowledge. He tells Nachiketa that among Vidya and Avidya, Vidya is the only good option.

10.            श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते२०१२.०३, प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते २०१३.०३, २०१५.०१

श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः । श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीतेप्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ १.२.२ ॥

श्रेयः च प्रेयः च मनुष्यं एतः तौ संपरीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः | श्रेयः हि धीरः अभि प्रेयसः वृणीते प्रेयः मन्दः योग-क्षेमात् वृणीते ||

श्रेयः the preferable च and प्रेयः च the pleasurable मनुष्यं man एतः approach तौ these two संपरीत्य weighed विविनक्ति distinguishes/separates धीरः the intelligent man. श्रेयः the preferable, the beneficial हि indeed धीरः the intelligent one अभि by all means प्रेयसः comparable to the pleasurable वृणीते selects प्रेयः the pleasurable मन्दः the short-sighted one योग-क्षेमात् to satisfy his concern for security and growth वृणीते chooses.

The good and the pleasant approach man; the wise examines both and discriminates between them; the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the foolish man chooses the pleasant through love of bodily pleasure.

Among the shlokas on विद्याविद्ययोर्विद्याया एव श्रेयस्करत्वम्, this one is विवेकिन एव श्रेय: साधनं वृणते |

In this shloka, Yama explains why people choose the path of Preyas even though Shreyas is far better, even when they have the freedom to choose (कर्तुं स्वायत्ते). Like a rat that unknowingly gets stuck in its trap, man gets entangled in the pleasures one after the other even without realizing that he is getting trapped in it.  इत: प्राप्नुत: श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च | Man can get both Preyas and Shreyas. अतो हंस इवाम्भस: पय: The Hamsa takes only the milk leaving the water. Like that the wise person takes only the Shreyas separating out the Preyas. विविनक्ति = due to his discriminating power. धीरः = One with high mental strength.योगक्षेमात्वृणीते –chooses for the sake of his worldly comfort.

11.            अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ ५ ॥    २०१०.०२, २००९.०२, २०१४.०२

अविद्यायामन्तरे वर्तमानाः स्वयं धीराः पण्डितंमन्यमानाः । दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढा अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ १.२.५ ॥

अविद्यायाम् अन्तरे वर्तमानाः स्वयं धीराः पण्डितं मन्यमानाः । दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढाः अन्धेन एव नीयमानाः यथा अन्धाः ॥

अविद्यायां अन्तरे in the midst of ignorance वर्तमानाः existing स्वयं themselves धीराः intelligent पण्डितं enlightened मन्यमानाः considering दन्द्रम्यमाणाः go round and round परियन्ति following crooked paths मूढाः senseless ones अन्धेन एव blind ones नीयमानाः being lead by यथा just as अन्धाः blind ones.

Fools dwelling in ignorance, yet imagining themselves wise and learned, go round and round in crooked ways, like the blind led by the blind.

Among the shlokas on यमकृता नचिकेतस: प्रशंसा, this one is नचिकेतसो विवेक: |

12.            आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः (exam – not sure)

श्रवणायापि बहुभिर्यो न लभ्यः शृण्वन्तोऽपि बहवो यं न विद्युः । आश्चर्यो वक्ता कुशलोऽस्य लब्धा आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः ॥ १.२.७ ॥

श्रवणायाः अपि बहुभिः यः न लभ्य: शृण्वन्तः अपि बहवः यं न विद्युः | आश्चर्यः वक्ता कुशलः अस्य लब्धा आश्चर्यः ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः ||

He about whom many are not even able to hear, whom many cannot comprehend even after hearing: wonderful is the teacher, wonderful is he who can receive when taught by an able teacher.

श्रवणायाः for the hearing अपि even बहुभिः for many यः that which न is not लभ्य: available. शृण्वन्तः अपि even while hearing/learning बहवः many यं which न do not विद्युः understand. आश्चर्यः wonderful वक्ता the expounder कुशलः proficient अस्य लब्धा who receives this teaching आश्चर्यः wonderful ज्ञाता is the knower कुशलानुशिष्टः being taught by an adept.

Among the shlokas on यमकृता नचिकेतस: प्रशंसा, this one is श्रेयोऽर्थी सुदुर्लभ: |

It is very rare to see a man who chooses this path of spiritual prosperity, Shreyas. Among numerous people, only a few take to the right path. Among the people who take to the path, there are only a few who get to reach the goal of spiritual enlightenment.

बहुभि: श्रवणाया अपि न लभ्यःMany people are there who do not even hear of Atman; Through the company of good people, man gets good thoughts. शृण्वन्त: अपि बहव: न विद्युः Though hearing of Him, many do not comprehend.आश्चर्य: वक्ता Wonderful is the expounder andकुशल: अस्य लब्धाrare the hearer; आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता rare indeed is the experiencer of Atman, कुशलानुशिष्टः taught by an able preceptor.

Self-knowledge is hailed as the highest vidyA, Knowledge. The supreme status accorded to AtmavidyA is due to the fact that it is the most difficult to teach, learn and assimilate. This triad of challenges makes the expounding and receiving vidyA a unique one. That is the reason that the Upanishads specify very high standards for the AchArya, the preceptor and the shiShya, the aspirant.

13.            मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १२ ॥ २००८.०३, २०१३.०२, २०१५.०३

तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टंगुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् । अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवंमत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १.२.१२ ॥

तं दुर्दर्शं गूढम् अनुप्रविष्टं गुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् | अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवं मत्वा धीरः हर्षशोकौ जहाति ||

तं That दुर्दर्शं inscrutable गूढम् lodged inaccessibly अनुप्रविष्टं having entered गुहाहितं and located in the intellect गह्वरेष्ठं and seated in the midst of misery पुराणम् ancient One अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन by resorting to the spiritual disciple देवं मत्वा knowing this Deity, the Conscious One धीरो the intelligent man हर्षशोकौ जहाति gives up happiness and sorrow.

The wise, who by means of the highest meditation on the Self knows the Ancient One, difficult to perceive, seated in the innermost recess, hidden in the cave of the heart, dwelling in the depth of inner being, (he who knows that One) as God, is liberated from the fetters of joy and sorrow

Among the shlokas on वक्ष्यमाणज्ञानस्तुति:, this one is आत्माज्ञानाद् द्वन्द्वात्यय: |

धीर: तं दुर्दर्शं गूढम् अनुप्रविष्टंगुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् अध्यात्म+योग+अधिगमेन देवंमत्वा हर्षशोकौ जहाति | Yama glorifies the spiritual knowledge that has been asked as the third boon by Nachiketas. He explains the benefit of gaining this knowledge. धीर: हर्षशोकौ जहाति | धीर: – intelligent, smart person, one who can discriminate; An enlightened person gives up both  happiness and sorrow after gaining this knowledge. तं refers to that knowledge that Nachiketas wanted to obtain – यं ज्ञानं त्वम् इच्छसितं ज्ञानं दुर्दर्शं | दुर्दर्शं – दु:खेन दर्शनम् अस्य इति दुर्दर्श: |This knowledge is difficult to be understood. The nature or properties of this knowledge are the following:

  1. दुर्दर्शम् – hard to understand or perceive.
  2. गूढम् –it is secured in a secret place.
  3. अनुप्रविष्टम् –a thing which is difficult to be entered into.
  4. गुहाहितम् – (हितम् = स्थितम्) It is in the cave of intellect.
  5. गह्वरेष्ठम् –It is in the midst of many troubles (गह्वरे विषमे अनर्थसंकटे तिष्ठति).
  6. पुराणम्–It has been existing for a very long time. It is not something new. It exists in all the 3 काला

[side note त्रिकालाभाद्यं ज्ञानम् = सत्यम् ; अभाद्य = that which is not affected].

This sacred secret spiritual knowledge अध्यात्मयोगं is the one where the mind is cut off from sensory objects like the family and possessions, and the conscious is kept on the Atma. देवम् = आत्मानम्. The intelligent person has the समभावा and does not feel excited during happiness or depressed during sorrow. This is the state of attained by the gnaani on gaining this knowledge.

14.            सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति (not from exam)

सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति — तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति — तत्ते पदँ सङ्ग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १.२.१५ ॥

सर्वे वेदाः यत्पदम् आमनन्ति तपांसि सर्वाणि च यत् वदन्ति |
यत् इच्छन्तः ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति तत् ते पदं सङ्ग्रहेण ब्रवीमि | ॐ इति एतत् ||

सर्वे वेदाः all the veda-s यत्पदम् आमनन्ति in one voice proclaim that goal तपांसि सर्वाणि all austerities च यद्वदन्ति speak of यत् इच्छन्तो desiring that which ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति aspirants practice brahmacharya तत् that ते to you पदं goal सङ्ग्रहेण briefly ब्रवीमि shall I state ओं इत्येतत् it is Om.

Yama said: The goal which all the vedas declare, which all austerities aim at and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is Om.

Among the shlokas on ओंकारद्वारेण ब्रह्मोपदेश:, this one is ओंकारसाधनत्वं ब्रह्मप्राप्तेः |

एतेन श्लोकेन ब्रह्मोपदेश: प्रारब्यते | If there can be a word that can be given as a synonym to Brahman, that is OM.

15.            एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् (not from exam)

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् । एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा  यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १.२.१६ ॥

एतत् हि एव अक्षरं ब्रह्म  एतद् हि एव अक्षरं परम् | एतद् हि एव अक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यः यत् इच्छति तस्य तत् ||

एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं is the (inferior) ब्रह्म brahman एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं परम् is the Supreme brahman. एतद् हि एव This alone indeed अक्षरं the letter, symbol, ज्ञात्वा having meditated upon यः he यत् इच्छति desiring which तस्य तत् his is that ॥ १६ ॥

This Word is indeed Brahman. This Word is indeed the Supreme. He who knows this Word obtains whatever he desires.

Among the shlokas on ओंकारद्वारेण ब्रह्मोपदेश:, this one is ओंकारस्य परब्रह्मालम्बनत्वम् |

नचिकेतसं प्रति यम: ॐ-कारस्य महत्वं वर्णयति |  It is not sufficient just to know that Om and Brahman are the same. The seeker has to meditate controlling the senses. यो यदिच्छति परम् अपरं वा, तस्य तद् भवति | परं ज्ञातव्यम्, अपरं चेत् प्राप्तव्यम् | Param is to be understood. Aparam is to be obtained.

16.            एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् (not from exam)

एतत् आलम्बनं श्रेष्ठम् एतत् आलम्बनं परम् । एतत् आलम्बनं ज्ञात्वा ब्रह्मलोके महीयते ॥ 1.2.१७

एतत् This आलम्बनं medium श्रेष्ठम् is the best एतत् this आलम्बनं medium is the परम् supreme. एतत् This आलम्बनं medium ज्ञात्वा having meditated upon ब्रह्मलोके महीयते one becomes adorable in the world of Brahma.

This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.

Among the shlokas on ओंकारद्वारेण ब्रह्मोपदेश:, this one is ओंकारस्य परब्रह्मालम्बनत्वम् |

Since a concentrated effort is required to attain the highest that is within creation, the Upanishad gives the method, the means, for this. This ‘Om’ is the best among the various means to attain brahman. This ‘Om’ is the means for attaining both the ‘inferior’ brahman as well as the ‘superior’brahman. The differentiation is based on what comes within creation and what transcends creation. When ‘Om’ is meditated upon with a view to attain the Supreme, Transcendental,brahman, one does achieve that. On the other hand if one resorts to ‘Om’ with a view to attain the highest state within creation, one gets to the state of Brahma, the first-born and becomes the object of adoration by others.

Now the Guru, Yama, embarks upon the delineation of the Atman that is the central theme of the discourse. Nachiketa had asked through the 14th mantra to know the Supreme that is beyonddharma and adharma, cause and effect, etc. The ‘Om’ meditation was mentioned as a means, for the well-accomplished aspirant, to attain the Supreme brahman. However, if the aspirant is of a middling and lowly type the ‘Om’ could be meditated upon with the conditioned-brahman as the subject. In the next mantra Yama gives out the nature of the Supreme brahman so that one can know It from the words employed to state Its nature:

17.            न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥ २०१०.०३, २०१४.०३, २०१५.०१.०२

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित् । अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चित् न अयं कुतश्चित् न बभूव कश्चित् । अज: नित्यः शाश्वत: अयं पुराण: न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ||

न जायते neither born म्रियते वा nor dies विपश्चित् this sentient Atman न अयं nor did It कुतश्चित् न बभूव originate from any cause कश्चित् nor did anything originate from It. अजः It is birthless नित्यः eternal शाश्वतः undecaying अयं पुराणः It is ancient न हन्यते It is not killed/injured हन्यमाने शरीरे when the body is killed.

The knowing Self is not born; It does not die. It has not sprung from anything; nothing has sprung from It. Birthless, eternal, everlasting and ancient. It is not killed when the body is killed.

Among the shlokas on आत्मन: साक्षात् स्वरूप-निर्धारणम्, this one is आत्मा सर्वविक्रियारहित: | |

अस्मिन् श्लोके आत्मन: साक्षात् स्वरूप-निर्धारणं करोति | The atma cannot be felt by the senses.  विपश्चित् = मेधावी | Don’t consider aatman to be an intelligent person. And don’t consider aatman to have come from a specific place like heaven. Nothing has originated from it. आत्मन: = ब्रह्मण: | निर्धारणम् = इदं इत्तं इति definition. अजः नित्यः शाश्वतः पुराणः |

18.            अणोरणीयान्महतो महीयान्

अणोरणीयान्महतो महीयान् — आत्मास्यजन्तोर्निहितं गुहायां | तमक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोको — धातुः प्रसादात् महिमानमात्मनः  | १.२.२०|

अणोरणीयान् महतः महीयान् – आत्मा अस्य जन्तोः निहितं गुहायां | तम् अक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोकः — धातुः प्रसादात् महिमान् अमात्मनः  | १.२.२०|

आत्मा अणो: अणीयान् | आत्मा महत: महीयान् | आत्मा अस्य जन्तो: गुहायां निहितम् अस्ति | वीतशोकः  अक्रतुः, धातुः प्रसादात्, तम् आत्मनः महिमानम्, पश्यति |

अणो: अणीयान् = Subtler than the subtle, महत: महीयान् = grosser than the gross, आत्मा अस्य जन्तो: निहितं गुहायां = the self is concealed in the heart-cave of this creature, तम् अक्रतुः = he who is free from desire पश्यति = perceives, वीतशोक: = free from sorrow, धातुः प्रसादात् = through the purity of the mind and the senses, आत्मनः  महिमानम् = the glory of the self

Subtler than the subtle, grosser than the gross, the self is concealed in the heart-cave of this creature.  He who is free from desire and free from sorrow perceives the glory of the self through the purity of the mind and the senses.

Among the shlokas on आत्मन: साक्षात् स्वरूप-निर्धारणम्, this one is अकाम एव आत्मानं पश्यति |

19.            महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति (२०१५.०३.०२) see also 2.1.4

अशरीरँ शरीरेष्वनवस्थेष्ववस्थितम् । महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति ॥ 1.2.२२॥  [2015.03]

शरीरेषु अशरीरं, अनवस्थेषु अवस्थितं, महान्तं, विभुम् आत्मानं मत्वा धीरः न शोचति |

शरीरेषु within the bodies अशरीरम् bodiless, अनवस्थेषु within the impermanent अवस्थितं the permanent, महान्तं that Great विभुम् all-pervading आत्मानं Self मत्वा knowing which धीरः the wise one न does not शोचति grieve.

The bodiless within the bodies, the permanent within the impermanent, the great, the omnipresent – knowing the self (to be this) a wise man grieves not.

Among the shlokas on आत्माविज्ञानफलं साधनं च, this one is आत्मग्नानस्य शोकराहित्यं फलम् |

The second half of the verse comes also in 2.1.4.

20.            तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥ २३ ॥ २००७.०१, २००९.०३

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्योन मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन । यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यःतस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥ १.२.२३ ॥

न अयम् आत्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्य: न मेधया न बहुना श्रुतेन । यम् एव एष: वृणुते तेन लभ्यः तस्य एष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् |

न अयम् आत्मा This Atman is not प्रवचनेन लभ्यः attained through study न मेधया nor by intelligence न बहुना श्रुतेन or by much hearing of sacred literature. यम् he whom एव alone एष the Self वृणुते chooses तेन लभ्यः It is attained by such a person तस्य Its एष this आत्मा Atman विवृणुते reveals तनूं स्वाम् Its true nature.

This Self cannot be attained by study of the Scriptures, nor by intellectual perception, nor by frequent hearing (of It); He whom the Self chooses (alternate meaning – He who chooses the Self alone), by him alone is It attained. To him the Self reveals Its true nature.

Context: The Acharya Yama is continuing his delineation of the Self upon being asked for it by the wonderful aspirant Nachiketas.

Among the shlokas on आत्माविज्ञानफलं साधनं च, this one is आत्मविज्ञानोपाय: |

वृणुते = “वृ वरणे” – whom the Brahma chooses ! ज्ञेय: = ज्ञातुं शक्य: | दुर्विज्ञेय: = ज्ञातुं न साध्यम् | तथापि उपायेन सुविज्ञेय: एव इति आह | प्रोत्साहं ददाति | (Gives encouragement). मेधया = ग्रन्थार्थधारणशक्त्या |

Krishna tells about 3 types of people who will come to hear the guru’s teachings. कुतूहली – Those who are curious. जिज्ञासुः – Those who are interested in knowing. मुमुक्षु: – One who comes with an open mind with an aim to gain the knowledge, will grasp and attain moksha. एषः साधकः यं स्वात्मानम् एव वृणुते प्रार्थयते तेन एव वरित्रा आत्मना आत्मा स्वयं लभ्यः ज्ञायते इत्येतत् । एवम् आत्मानम् एव निष्कामस्य प्रार्थयतः आत्मना एव आत्मा लभ्यः इत्यर्थः। स्व-याथात्म्यम् | तनूं = पारमार्थिक तनूम् | By that (selected वरित्रा) atmaa which alone the Sadhaka selects, the atmaa can be known.

21.            नाविरतो दुश्चरितात्

नाविरतो दुश्चरितात् — नाशान्तो नासमाहितः |  नाशान्तोमनसो वाऽपि — प्रज्ञानेनैनमाप्नुयात् || [1.2.24]

दुश्चरितात् अविरतः न | अशान्तः न | असमाहितः न |  अशान्तः मनसः वा अपि प्रज्ञानेन एनं न आप्नुयात् |

न अविरतः one who has not desisted दुश्चरितात् from evil conduct न अशान्तः whose senses are not under control न असमाहितः whose mind is not concentrated न अशान्तमानसः whose mind is not free from anxiety वा अपि प्रज्ञानेन he too cannot through knowledge एनम् आप्नुयात् attain this Atman.

One who has not abandoned his bad habits, whose mind is not under control, who does not have concentration or whose mind is disturbed cannot realize this atman by mere intellectual reasoning.

Among the shlokas on आत्माविज्ञानफलं साधनं च, this one is आत्मविज्ञाने साधनान्तराणि |

22.            आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तु

आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तुबुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रग्रहमेव च || 3
इन्द्रियाणि हयान्याहु: विषयांस्तेषु गोचरान्आत्मेन्द्रियमनोयुक्तं भोक्तेत्याहुर्मनीषिणः || 4
यस्त्वविज्ञानवान् भवत्ययुक्तेन मनसा सदा — तस्येन्द्रियाण्यवश्यानि दुष्टाश्वा इव सारथे: || 5
यस्तु विज्ञानवान्भवति युक्तेन मनसा सदा । तस्येन्द्रियाणि वश्यानि सदश्वा इव सारथेः ॥ 6 ॥
विज्ञानसारथिर्यस्तु मनप्रग्रहवान् नरः — सोऽध्वन पारमाप्नोति तद्विष्णो: परमं पदम्  || 9  [1.3.3,4,5,6,9]

आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि |शरीरं रथम् एव तु | बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि | मनः प्रग्रहम् एव च | इन्द्रियाणि हयानि आहुः | विषयान् तेषु गोचरान् | आत्मेन्द्रियमनोयुक्तं भोक्ता इति मनीषिणः आहुः |  ….. | सदा युक्तेन मनसा यः तु विज्ञानवान् भवति,  तस्य इन्द्रियाणि, सारथे: सदश्वाः इव, वश्यानि | यः तु विज्ञानसारथिः मनप्रग्रहवान् नरः, सः  अध्वनपारम् आप्नोति | तत् विष्णो: परमं पदम्  |

Know the self as the lord of the chariot, the body as the chariot,  the intellect as the charioteer and the mind as the reins. The senses are said to be the horses and the sense-objects the spheres for them.  Wise men say that (the individual self) as associated with body, the senses and the mind, is the enjoyer.  (Whoever becomes devoid of knowledge because of mind ever unyoked, for him the senses are uncontrollable, as wild horses are for a charioteer).  But whoever becomes endowed with knowledge because of mind ever yoked, for him the senses are controllable, as trained horses are for a charioteer.  One who has discriminating intellect as the charioteer and the mind as the reins reaches the end of the path and attains the highest goal of life.

Among the shlokas on रथरथिरूपककल्पना, these (३,४) are शरीरादीनां रथादित्वम् |
Among the shlokas on विज्ञानवदविज्ञानवतोः फलभेदः , these (5,6) are सुबुद्धिमत एव वश्येन्द्रियत्वम्  |
Among the shlokas on विज्ञानवदविज्ञानवतोः फलम् , this one (९) is अविज्ञानवतः संसारगतिः विज्ञानवतो मोक्षश्च |


23.            इन्द्रियेभ्यः परा ह्यर्था

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परा ह्यर्था अर्थेभ्यश्च परं मनः । मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्बुद्धेरात्मा महान्परः ॥ 1.3.१० ॥

इन्द्रियेभ्यः पराः हि अर्थाः अर्थेभ्यः च परं मनः  | मनसः परा  बुद्धिः बुद्धेः आत्मा महान् परः  ||

इन्द्रियेभ्यः पराः हि greater than the senses indeed अर्थाः are the objects अर्थेभ्यः च परं greater than the objects मनः is the mind.  मनसः परा  greater than the mind बुद्धिः is the intellect बुद्धेः greater than the intellect आत्मा महान् परः  is the Great self .

Beyond the senses are the objects; beyond the objects is the mind; beyond the mind, the intellect; beyond the intellect, the Great Atman.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्मणः परमसूक्ष्मत्वात् प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वम् , this one is विष्णोः पदस्य प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वम्  | 

महतः परमव्यक्तमव्यक्तात्पुरुषः परः । पुरुषान्न परं किंचित्सा काष्ठा सा परा गतिः ॥ 1.3.११ ॥

महतः परम् अव्यक्तम् अव्यक्तात् पुरुषः परः | पुरुषात् न परं किञ्चित् सा काष्ठा सा परा गतिः ||

महतः परम् अव्यक्तम् beyond the Great is the unmanifest अव्यक्तात् पुरुषः परः beyond the unmanifest is the puruSha  पुरुषात् न परं किञ्चित् there is nothing beyond/greater than the puruSha सा काष्ठा this is the ultimate सा परा गतिः  this is the Supreme Goal.

Beyond the Great Atman, the Unmanifest; beyond the Unmanifest, the Purusha. Beyond the Purusha there is nothing: this is the end, the Supreme Goal.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्मणः परमसूक्ष्मत्वात् प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वम् , this one is विष्णोः पदस्य प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वम्  | 

24. उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।२०१४.१२, २०१५.०२

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया | दुर्गं पथस्तत्कवयो वदन्ति ॥ १.३.१४ ॥

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान् निबोधत । क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया |  दुर्गं पथ: तत् कवय: वदन्ति |

उत्तिष्ठत – arise, जाग्रत – awake, प्राप्य – having received, वरान् – great teachers, निबोधत – get enlightened । क्षुरस्य – razor’s धारा – edge (अग्रम्),  निशिता – sharp दुरत्यया – difficult to tread upon |  दुर्गं – fortified (दु:संपाद्यम्). पथ: – road (मार्ग:), कवय: – those Brahma jnaanis – तत् – that वदन्ति – tell |

  1. Arise, awake!  Seek the great teachers and realize the self!  The wise say the path, difficult to navigate, is sharp and narrow like a razor’s edge.

Among the shlokas on सूक्ष्मस्यात्मनो दर्शनार्थं योग:, this one is आत्म-दर्शन-यत्न-कर्तव्यता-उपदेश: | 

The spiritual path is difficult because life is not what it seems and because as discrimination develops one discovers more and more subtle delusions. One needs to be eternally vigilant because it is easy to ‘fall off’ the path, identify with beliefs and opinions that prevent appreciation of one’s wholeness.

It may be possible to sort it out on your own but it is intelligent to realize your limitations and seek help. Associating with a teacher means that the non-dual perspective is constantly present. Additionally, your desire for liberation will grow quickly because a teacher will continually remind you of the limitations inherent in the pursuit of objects. Finally, you can present your doubts and have them cleared quickly and easily. It sometimes takes years to work though a problem that can be solved in a few minutes by a competent teacher.  

कर्तव्यं – a command that has to be abided. In the मिथ्याज्ञान, there are नाम, रूप, कर्म. ते विजृम्भितम् | हे जन्तव: आत्मज्ञान अभिमुखा भवत | निभोधत = अवगच्छत | वरान् = प्रकृष्तान् आचार्यान् तत्वविद: | अस्मिन् श्लोके शाङ्करभाष्ये “अहमस्मि” इति अद्वैतसिददान्तस्य प्रवेश: भवति | Shankara introduces the concept of Advaita as “Aham asmi” in this shloka. ज्ञेयस्य अति-सूक्ष्मत्वात् तत् विषयस्य ग्नानमार्गस्य दु:संपाद्यत्वं वदन्ति |

25. तस्मात्पराङ् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् । २०१०.०४

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू-स्तस्मात्पराङ्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ २.१.१ ॥

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू:  तस्मात् पराङ् पश्यति न अन्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चित् धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानम् ऐक्षत् आवृत्तचक्षु: अमृतत्वम् इच्छन् |

पराञ्चि – outgoing tendencies; खानि – senses (आकाश जन्याणि), व्यतृणत् –  disturbed – mixed up things (हिंसितवान् हननं कृतवान्), स्वयम्भू: – the self-existent Brahma,  तस्मात् – therefore, पराङ् – external world, पश्यति – see, न – not, अन्तरात्मन् – the self, कश्चित् – some, धीरः – wise man, प्रत्यगात्मानम् – atman within (प्रत्यक् च असौ आत्मा च) , ऐक्षत् – he wished (अपश्यत्),  आवृत्तचक्षु: – one having eyes averted (with his senses turned away), अमृतत्वम् – immortality, इच्छन् – desiring.

2.1.1. The self existent self created the senses with outgoing tendencies. Therefore we see the external world and not the self. But the wise turn the senses away from the world and, seeking what is everlasting, realize the self within.

The Self-existent created the senses out-going; for this reason man sees the external, but not the inner Ātman (Self). Some wise man, however, desiring immortality, with eyes turned away (from the external) sees the Ātman within.

Among the shlokas on काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध:, this one is पराग्दृष्टि: स्वभावो लोकस्य, प्रत्यग्दृष्टिस्तु कस्यचिदेव |

आत्माज्ञानस्य स्वरूप: क: इति वक्तव्यम् | तत् पूर्वम् आत्मज्ञानस्य विघ्ना: के इति वदति | काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध: |किमर्थं प्रबन्ध: ज्ञातव्यः ?

गूढ: आत्मा, सर्वेषुभूतेषु न प्रकाशते | केनापि न दृश्यते वा? अथवा कतिपयेषु दृष्टुं शक्यते वा? इति प्रश्न: अस्ति | स: वदति –अग्रया बुद्ध्यया दृष्टुं शक्यते | अग्रा बुद्धि: इत्युक्ते कुशाग्र मति:  – the intellect that has the sharpness of the edge of the Kusha or Dharbha grass. Even these people have obstruction or obstacles – प्रतिबन्ध: | परंतुतस्य अपि काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध: |विघ्नस्य ज्ञानम् अस्ति चेत् तस्य निवारणं कर्तुं शक्नुम: | विघ्ननिवारणात् फलं कर्यप्राप्ति:, फलप्राप्ति: | अस्माकं दृष्टिस्तु आत्मज्ञाने अस्ति | विघ्नविचार: किमर्थम्? यदि विघ्ना: निवार्यते तर्हि फलप्राप्ति: सुखकरम् |

In this chapter, Yama is trying to tell Nachiketas about all the obstacles on the road of Atma gnana. There is a question there – We are interested in knowing about the Aatman and attaining the atma gnana. Why are just delaying by talking about these obstacles. For this Yama says, “It is very important because when you know the obstacles your mind will be prepared to watch out for and remove the obstacles. Once the obstacles are avoided, your path will be smooth and you will be able to reach the goal. There is Shreyas or prosperity and well-being only for you by knowing the obstacles. विघ्नस्य अपनयनाय यत्न आरब्धुं शक्यते – न अन्यथा | As long as you are attached to the desires, you will not be able to start getting into that path of Atma Gnana. Only after removing these obstacles, you can progress in your path.

शब्दगुणकमाकाशम् | The sound is the quality of space. The sound is captured by the ears. Sound can’t be heard in Vacuum. पराञ्चि = पराक् गच्छन्ति (अञ्चन्ति). वातावरणे ओंकारः सदा अस्ति | But the ears are not capable of hearing it. The creator has removed the power of hearing that sound from this sense organ.  पराङ् = अनात्मभूतान् शब्दादीन् = the sounds in these worldly environment. लौकिकशब्दा: ये सन्ति ते व्यवाहारे एव दृश्यते | अत: व्यवहारे एव ये ते शब्दा: शोत्रुं साद्यम् अस्ति | परन्तु ज्ञानी ओंकारम् एव शृणोति | At the time of creation, the creator disturbed and destroyed the sense so that it cannot hear the omkara and it can hear only the other sounds in the environment. लोकस्य स्वाभाव: एवं सति अपि, कश्चित्, नद्या: प्रतिस्रोत: प्रवर्तनामिव धीर: इन्द्रिय-प्रत्याहरणं कृत्वा प्रत्यगात्मानं अपश्यत् | Even if the nature of the world is like this, there will be some person who will control his senses and he will be able to realize the true self. Every sense wants to experience the pleasure. But a true seeker does not go after such pleasures – अमृतत्वम् अमरन+धर्मत्वं नित्य+स्वभावताम् इच्छन्, महता प्रयासेन स्वभावप्रवृत्तिनिरोधं करोति |

26.            पराञ्च: कामाननुयन्ति बालाः

पराञ्च: कामाननुयन्ति बाला-  स्ते मृत्योर्यान्तिविततस्य पाशम् | अथ धीराः अमृतत्वं विदित्वाध्रुवमध्रुवेष्विह न प्रार्थयन्ते || [2.1.2]

पराञ्च: कामान् अनुयन्ति बालाः    ते मृत्योः यान्ति विततस्य पाशम् | अथ धीराः अमृतत्वं विदित्वाध्रुवमध्रुवेषु इह न प्रार्थयन्ते ||

बालाः  पराञ्च: कामान् अनुयन्ति | ते मृत्योः विततस्य पाशं यान्ति | अथ धीराः अमृतत्वं विदित्वा ध्रुवमध्रुवेषु इह न प्रार्थयन्ते |

पराञ्च: external कामान् objects of desire अनुयन्ति seek/covet बालाः ignorant ते they मृत्योः of Death यान्ति attain to विततस्य wide-spread पाशम् snare अथ but धीराः the wise अमृतत्वं immortality विदित्वा realizing ध्रुवं the stable अध्रुवेषु in the unstable इह here न do not प्रार्थयन्ते covet/seek.

The immature pursue outward pleasures; they are caught in the far-flung snare of death.  But the wise, knowing immortality to be permanent, do not pray for anything here amidst what are transitory.

Among the shlokas on काम एव आत्मज्ञानस्य प्रतिबन्ध:, this one is अविवेकिनामेव विषयविषयः कामः, न विवेकिनाम् |

27. महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति २०१५.०३.२

स्वप्नान्तं जागरितान्तं चोभौ येनानुपश्यति । महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति ॥ ४ ॥

स्वप्नान्तं जागरितान्तं च उभौ येन अनुपश्यति | महान्तं विभुम् आत्मानं मत्वा धीरः न शोचति ||

स्वप्नान्तं within dream जागरितान्तं within waking च and उभौ both येन by which अनुपश्यति one perceives महान्तं that Great विभुम् all-pervading आत्मानं Self मत्वा knowing which धीरः the wise one न does not शोचति grieve.

That by which one perceives both what is within dreams and what is within the waking state – having known that great, all-pervading self, the wise one does not grieve.

Among the shlokas on आत्माधिगमप्रकारः, this one is यञ्जाग्रत्स्वपणसाक्षि, तदेव प्रकृतमात्मतत्त्वम् |

By this mantra the teacher Yama brings almost the entire gamut of human experience into the picture. First, all that is experienced in the dream and then the contents of the waking experience are all shown to be witnessed by the Self. In fact, it is due to the illumining by the Self that these experiences come to be had by the jeeva through the mind-senses-body complex. By knowing this illumining Self to be one’s true Self the wise one goes out of the cycle of samsaara and no longer grieves.

The key point made by the Teacher is that one discriminates between the identification with the body-mind complex and the illumining Self, the Witness, and realizes his true identity with the illumining Self and dissociates from the identification with the body-mind complex which indeed is the not-Self.

28. अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः ।२००७.०२

अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः । दिवे दिव ईड्यो जागृवद्भिर्हविष्मद्भिर्मनुष्येभिरग्निः ।एतद्वै तत् ॥ २.१.८ ॥

अरण्यो: निहित: जातवेदा: गर्भ इव सुभृत: गर्भिणीभिः । दिवे दिव ईड्यः जागृवद्भि: हविष्मद्भि: मनुष्येभि: अग्निः । एतत् वै तत् ॥ २.१.८ ॥

अरण्यो: – pair of fire-sticks, निहित: – reside (स्थित:), जातवेदा: –  fire,  गर्भ – fetus इव – like सुभृत: – well-guarded (सुष्ठु भरित:) गर्भिणीभिः – by the pregnant woman । दिवे दिव – day after day ईड्यः – worshipped,  जागृवद्भि: – by wakeful seekers, हविष्मद्भि: – by one who does sacrifice, मनुष्येभि: – by such people, अग्निः – Agni । एतत् वै तत् – Certainly this is that !

2.1.8. The all-seeing consciousness that, like fire, is hidden in wood and concealed like a fetus in the womb is worshipped by self inquirers and ritualists. This is what you wish to know.

Ritualists are also self worshippers although their worship is indirect i.e. through rituals. Even though they worship deities, they actually worship the self in so far as the self works through the deity to bolster their faith.

The all-seeing fire which exists hidden in the two sticks, as the fetus is well- guarded in the womb by the mother, (that fire) is to be worshipped day after day by wakeful seekers (after wisdom), as well as by sacrificers. This verily is That.

Context: Brahman (The supreme self) and aatman (the inner self) are identical.

Among the shlokas on प्रत्यगात्मब्रह्मण: सर्वात्मत्वम्, this one is अग्निरूपेण स्थितो विराडपि ब्रह्मैव |

There is some heat in the atmosphere. All the five elements are present. Agni is virat. Even that is Brahma only. In the Yogis, Agni is present in their heart. The mother eats food which is converted to energy that passes on to the fetus by means of the agni inside the body. Agni is there inside everyone. That is only Brahman and Aatman. अग्निः ऋत्विग्भि: योगिभिश्च सम्यक् भृत: | The Rutvig are the great rishis who conduct the yaga, namely Hotr, Adhvaryu, Udgatr, and Brahman. अध्वरे हृदये च – in the homa and in the hearts.

29.            नेह नानाऽस्ति किंचन ।२००७.०३

मनसैवेदमाप्तव्यं नेह नानाऽस्ति किंचन । मृत्योः स मृत्युं गच्छति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥ 2.1.११ ॥

मनसा एव इदम् आप्तव्यं न इह नाना अस्ति किंचन । मृत्योः स: मृत्युं गच्छति य: इह नाना इव पश्यति |  

मनसा एव इदम् आप्तव्यम् | इह किंचन नाना न अस्ति । य: इह नाना इव पश्यति स: मृत्योः मृत्युं गच्छति |

२.१.11. By the mind alone is the self to be realized. There is no difference between the seen and the unseen. See a difference and move from death to death.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्मात्मैक्त्वज्ञानात् सर्वानर्थप्रहाणि:, this one is अविद्ययैव ब्रह्मणि नानात्वं बासते |

This verse is intended for those who think the mind is the enemy and should be stopped or destroyed or transcended. You cannot ‘gain’ the self by getting rid of anything because the self is you. How can you get rid of yourself? Even if you could, you wouldn’t because it is for the sake of yourself that you do everything. Therefore because inquiry produces self knowledge it is the only way to get what you already have. The self is only ‘hidden’ by ignorance. No gain or loss can remove ignorance. Only self knowledge removes it.

By mind alone this is to be realized. There is no difference whatever (between visible and invisible). He who sees difference here (between these) goes from death to death.

Context: All beings are one only! Due to ignorance also, the difference are seen.

30.            यथोदकं दुर्गे वृष्टं पर्वतेषु विधावति

यथोदकं दुर्गे वृष्टं पर्वतेषु विधावति । एवं धर्मान् पृथक् पश्यंस्तानेवानुविधावति ॥ 2.1.१४ ॥

यथा उदकं दुर्गे वृष्टं पर्वतेषु विधावति | एवं धर्मान् पृथक् पश्यन् तानेव अनुविधावति ||

यथा दुर्गे वृष्टं उदकं पर्वतेषु विधावति,  एवं धर्मान् पृथक् पश्यन् तान् एव अनुविधावति |

यथा just as उदकं water दुर्गे on a mountain peak वृष्टं rained पर्वतेषु on the rocks विधावति runs down एवं so too धर्मान् entities different from the Self पृथक् पश्यन् seeing as different तानेव them alone अनुविधावति runs in pursuit.

As rainwater falling on a mountain peak runs down to the abyss in all directions, even so he who sees the attributes as different from Brahman verily runs after them in all directions.

Among the shlokas on ज्ञानाज्ञानफलोपसंहारः , this one is अज्ञानिनः सातत्येन संसारः |

The Upanishad spells out the dire consequence of taking as real the multiplicity seen in the state of ignorance.  A suitable analogy is employed here to convey the message:  When it rains on a mountain peak, the water, finding its natural levels, flows down to the spots that lie at the lower ranges.  There is no effort involved in accomplishing this.  So too when a person entertains as real the idea of difference, multiplicity, in the world, actually strengthens the erroneously deeply ingrained idea of difference, bheda, thereby ending up perpetuating the saMsAra born of bheda-buddhi, the notion of difference.  Primarily, by ‘difference’ is meant the idea of finitude.  This is the fundamental error since the Upanishadic fact is that there is absolutely no room for difference in the Impartite brahman. The Upanishad teaches brahman as an Infinite mass of consciousness, giving no room for any object, subtle or gross, as different from brahman. This fact is not known to the ignorance-enveloped person and he goes about imagining a variety of objects, sentient and insentient in a world, also imagined by him.  If only the truth of one’s own infinitude be grasped and firmly internalized, there is no occasion for any difference whatsoever.  Such an eternal state is liberation, mokSha.   One realizes that there is no danger to one’s Being from any quarter, for there is nothing that is not this Being, Sat.

31.            एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  (comes in 3 verses. Refer those verses also)

अग्निर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो  — रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव | एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मारूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च  [2.2.9]

यथा एकः भुवनं प्रविष्टः अग्निः, रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपः बभूव,  तथा एकः सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा, रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपः, बहिः च  बभूव |

अग्नि: यथा just as fire एकः being one भुवनं प्रविष्टः has entered the world रूपं रूपं taking every form प्रतिरूपः reflection  बभूव attained एकः तथा similarly being one सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा the Self-of-all रूपं रूपं takes every form प्रतिरूपः reflection बहिः च and is outside them.

As Agni (Fire), which is one, entering this world becomes varied in form according to the respective forms (of objects it burns), so also the one inner self of all beings becomes varied in form according to the respective forms of beings it inhabits and also (exists) outside.

Among the shlokas on आत्मैकत्वे दृष्टान्तौ, this one is एकस्यैवानेकत्वेन विभाव्यमानत्वे दृष्टान्तद्वयम् |

As the same non-dual fire, after it has entered the world, becomes different according to whatever it burns, so also the same non-dual Atman, dwelling in all beings, becomes different according to whatever It enters. And It exists also without.

The Upanishad is embarking on giving certain analogies in order to make our understanding of the nature of the Self easier.  First the fire-analogy is presented here. Fire, as an entity, is one.  It is present in a latent manner in everything that is combustible. The mantra puts it in a poetic way: the non-dual fire has entered, as it were, every combustible material and has taken up that form, as it were.  The idea is: even though the combustible materials are myriad, fire that is said to be inherent in them, however, is one.  Thus it is as if the non-dual fire has become manifold, in so many forms.

Even so, the non-dual Self, brahman, has entered this world of innumerable names and forms and exists in all of them.  It is as though the non-dual Self has become so many.  And how has this to be understood? It is the Self which forms the core of everything that we encounter as separate from one another.  By saying ‘core’ what is meant is that ‘the Self is the essential reality in each object, while the name and form of the object is unreal, insubstantial.  When we take people, the Self is the innermost essence, the Atman, in each of us, while the body, mind, etc. are the insubstantial elements in us. But then, does the One Atman really become many and therefore get divided? No.  It is ever One only even though it appears that it is existing as many in each object.  The Self is indivisible.  It is present in each object not in any corner but pervades the entire objective world, in and through.  There is no object or place, even in between objects, that is not pervaded by Atman. Just for the sake of convenience of expression and comprehension the mantra says that the Self gets variedly reflected.

32.            एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  (3 verses)

वायुर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो  रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव । एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च ॥ २.२.१० ॥

वायुः यथा एकः भुवनं प्रविष्टः रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपः बभूव | एकः तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपः बहिः च || 2.2.10

वायुः यथा just as air एकः is one भुवनं the world प्रविष्टः has entered रूपं रूपं every form प्रतिरूपः reflection बभूव attained एकः तथा similarly being one सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा the self-of-all रूपं रूपं every form प्रतिरूपः reflection बहिः च and outside them.

As the same non-dual air, after it has entered the world, becomes different according to whatever it enters, so also the same non-dual Atman, dwelling in all beings, becomes different according to whatever It enters. And It exists also without.

Among the shlokas on आत्मैकत्वे दृष्टान्तौ, this one is एकस्यैवानेकत्वेन विभाव्यमानत्वे दृष्टान्तद्वयम् |

Air has entered every living being as the prANa, the life force.  In this way air, though one, has attained several forms, as it were, and is available in many loci. By this much it cannot be said that air is multiple.  It remains one only.  In the same way the Atman though one only is reflected in the various bodies.  The reflections are many owing to the manifoldness of the reflecting media.

Yet another example is given with a more profound message in the next verse.

33.            एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  (3 verses) + न लिप्यते लोकदुखेन बाह्य:

सूर्यो यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षु: — न लिप्यते चाक्षुषैर्बाह्यदोषै: | एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा — न लिप्यते लोकदुःखेन बाह्य: || [2.2.11]

सूर्यः  यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षुः न लिप्यते चाक्षुषैः बाह्यदोषैः | एकः तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा न लिप्यते लोकदुःखेन बाह्यः || 2.2.11 ||

यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षु: सूर्यः अक्षुषैः बाह्यदोषै: न लिप्यते च, तथा एकः बाह्य: सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा, लोकदुखेन न लिप्यते |

सूर्यः  यथा just as the sun सर्वलोकस्य चक्षुः being the eye of the entire world न लिप्यते is untouched by चाक्षुषैः बाह्यदोषैः by the seen outside defects  एकः तथा similarly being one सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा the self-of-all न लिप्यते is untouched लोकदुःखेन by the misery of the world बाह्यः being outside the world.

As the sun, which helps all eyes to see, is not affected by the blemishes of the eyes or of the external things revealed by it, so also the one Atman, dwelling in all beings, is never contaminated by the misery of the world, being outside it.

Among the shlokas on देहस्थस्यापि परस्य न संसारदुःखम्, this one is परमात्मनो दुःखालिप्तत्वे दृष्टान्तः |

This analogy comes very close to the topic on hand: the Atman.  The sun is considered the illumining power that enables every sentient being in creation to perceive objects.  The vedic system holds the sun-god, Aditya, to be the presiding deity in the organ eye of beings, blessing the organ with the power of perception of colours and forms.  The perceived objects are of a varied nature, some holy and others unclean, unholy, like urine and excreta.  In the orthodox practice, the sight of these unholy objects is said to cause impurity to the person who beholds them.  On the other hand, the sight of holy things, like a learned brAhmaNa, a cow, a married woman loyal to her husband, are said to bring merit to the beholder.  Keeping this practice in mind the mantra says that the sun, even though the illuminer of all objects, holy and otherwise, is not touched by the merit or demerit arising out of the beholder seeing them.  The demerit, for instance, can be admitted to accrue only to the person who beholds them and not to the illumining power, the sun.  Similarly the Atman, though the power lending the sentiency to all beings is never touched by the sins, etc. of the beings.  The Self transcends all objectivity and therefore is never touched by the characteristics of the objective world.

Sentient beings, owing to the fundamental ignorance of their true Atman-nature, superimpose the mind-body complex on the Self and identify with the merits, etc. that really are only properties of the not-self, the mind.  Surely these do not inhere in the Atman.  The impurity pertaining to the superimposed snake, silver and water does not inhere in their substratum the rope, the shell and the desert land.  These impurities have arisen owing to erroneously perceiving the rope, etc. as snake, etc. Surely the rope, etc. are outside the purview of the error and the error-born defects.

In the same way people ignorant of the true nature of the Self superimpose on the Self the false notions of actions, agent and fruit (akin to the superimposing the snake, etc. on the rope, etc.) and experience misery born of birth, disease, death, etc. Surely, the Atman, being totally outside these wrong identifications and their effects, is never tainted by these.  This is the central message of theUpanishad.  He who grasps it correctly is instantly released from the error and the error-born effects called saMsAra.

34.            तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम् (not yet asked in exam)

एको वशी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  —  एकं रूपं बहुधा यः करोति । तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीराः  —  तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम् ॥ २.२.१२ ॥

एकः वशी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा एकं रूपं बहुधा यः करोति | तम् आत्मस्थं ये अनुपश्यन्ति धीराः तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं न इतरेषाम् ||

एकः One वशी Ruler सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा of the inmost Self of all beings एकं One रूपं form बहुधा manifold यः He करोति does तम् Him आत्मस्थं situated in the mind ये those अनुपश्यन्ति who perceive धीराः wise तेषां for them सुखं happiness शाश्वतं eternal न not इतरेषाम् for others.

“The one Controller, the inner self of all  beings who makes his one form manifold;  the wise who perceive him as existing within themselves – for them there is eternal happiness; not for others.

Among the shlokas on आत्मज्नानिनां नित्यसुखशान्ति, this one is सर्वकारणं परमात्मानमात्मत्वेन पश्यताम् नित्यसुखम् |

35.            तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥ १५ ॥ २००९.०४, २००८.०४, २०१२.०४

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकंनेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः । तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वंतस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥ २.२.१५ ॥

न तत्र सूर्यः भाति न चन्द्रतारकम् न इमा विद्युतः भान्ति कुतः अयम् अग्निः । तम् एव भान्तम् अनुभाति सर्वं तस्य भासा सर्वम् इदं विभाति ॥ २.२.१५ ॥

न तत्र सूर्यः the sun does not भाति shine न nor चन्द्रतारकं moon and stars न इमा nor these विद्युतो lightnings भान्ति shine कुतः how indeed अयम् this अग्निः fire? तम् एव भान्तम् Its shine alone अनु भाति shine सर्वं all this तस्य भासा by Its shine सर्वम् all इदं this विभाति shines.

२.२.15. Neither the sun nor the moon nor the stars shine there, much less these worldly fires. Shining, everything shines after It. All is illumined by Its light.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्मनन्द: सर्वेषामपि सुवेद्य:, this one is आत्मा स्वयं भाति विभाति चेतररूपेण |

This beautiful mantra answers the last question posed in the previous mantra. The last two mantras present both indirect and direct self knowledge. The presentation of the self as ‘there’ is indirect knowledge. The revelation of the identity of ‘That’ and ‘This’ is direct knowledge. Indirect knowledge needs to be converted to direct knowledge to set you free. If it isn’t, the self will always remain an object. Many of the verses in this Upanishad present the self indirectly.

Context 2.2.14. Of that indescribable bliss the wise say, ‘This is That. How can I know it? Does it shine on its own or is it only reflected light?
This is that.  Self realization is the discovery that the fullness that you thought was only available elsewhere is actually always present in the form of your self. You cannot ‘know’ it because you are it. Or, better yet, self realization is the understanding that you have always known the self. The last question is rhetorical. Self realization is the discovery that you, the ‘light’ shine on your own. You don’t need anything other than your own existence to validate you. Hence self realization is called liberation. 
Context: Nature of the Self

36.            ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः ।२००७.०४

ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः । तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेवामृतमुच्यते । तस्मिँल्लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तदु नात्येति कश्चन ।एतद्वै तत् ॥ २.३.१ ॥

ऊर्ध्वमूलः अवाक्शाखः एषः अश्वत्थः सनातनः | तत् एव शुक्रं तत् ब्रह्म  तत् एव अमृतम् उच्यते |  तस्मिन् लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तदु न अत्येति कश्चन | एतत् वै तत् ||

ऊर्ध्वमूलः root above अवाक्शाखः branches below  एषः this is अश्वत्थः ashwattha tree सनातनः eternal तत् एव that alone शुक्रं bright तत् that is ब्रह्म  brahman तत् that एव alone is  अमृतम् immortal उच्यते called तस्मिन् in that लोकाः the worlds श्रिताः reside सर्वे all तदु that न अत्येति कश्चन none can pass beyond एतत् this वै verily is तत् That.

2.3.1. The ancient tree of saMsAra has its roots above in that. It branches spread below into the world of men. That is limitless and immortal and all the worlds rest in It. None surpasses It. Verily, this is That.

Among the shlokas on जगत: परमकारणं ब्रह्म, this one is संसारवृक्षरूपकम् |

The dream of limitation can only come out of awareness (‘that’) because there is nothing other than the self. Unlike the awareness that makes it possible, it is not limitless, nor is it immortal because it ends when self knowledge dawns. saMsAra is not a fact. It is simply a belief.

This ancient Āswattha tree has its root above and branches below. That is pure, That is Brahman, That alone is called the Immortal. All the worlds rest in That. None goes beyond That. This verily is That.

Context: The way of Adhyatma Yoga

37. मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चमः ॥ ३ ॥२०१४.०१

भयादस्याग्निस्तपति भयात्तपति सूर्यः । भयादिन्द्रश्च वायुश्च मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चमः ॥ 2.3.३ ॥

भयात् अस्य अग्निः तपति भयात् तपति सूर्यः | भयात् इन्द्रः च वायुः च मृत्युः धावति पञ्चमः ||

भयात्  due to fear अस्य of Him अग्निः Fire तपति burns भयात् due to fear तपति burns  सूर्यः sun भयात् from fear इन्द्रः indra च and वायुः vAyu च and  मृत्युः Death धावति run पञ्चमः the fifth

From fear of Him the fire burns, from fear of Him the sun shines. From fear of Him Indra and Vāyu and Death, the fifth, speed forth.

2.3.3. For fear of it fire burns, the sun shines and the elemental forces stream forth.

Among the shlokas on जगन्नियन्तृ ब्रह्म, this one is ब्रह्मणो भयहेतुत्वम् |

One only fears the ‘other,’ never one’s self. In so far as the self’s forms seem to be other than the self they are poetically said to ‘fear’ it. We need to be constantly reminded that reality is non-dual because the appearance of duality is so convincing. 

Context: The way of Adhyatma Yoga

38.            इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः (probably not yet asked in exam)

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनो मनसः सत्त्वमुत्तमम् । सत्त्वादधि महानात्मा महतोऽव्यक्तमुत्तमम् ॥ 2.3.७ ॥

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः मनसः सत्त्वम् उत्तमम् | सत्त्वात् अधि महान् आत्मा महतः अव्यक्तम् उत्तमम् ||

इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं beyond the senses मनः is the mind मनसः beyond the mind सत्त्वम् उच्यते is said to be the intellect  सत्त्वात् अधि higher than the intellect महान् आत्मा the great Atman महतः and even than the great Atman अव्यक्तम् उत्तमम् the Unmanifest is higher.

Beyond the senses is the mind, beyond the mind is the intellect, higher than the intellect is the Great Atman, higher than the Great Atman is the Unmanifest.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्म प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वेनैव बोद्धव्यम् , this one is आत्मनः सर्वप्रत्यक्त्वं ज्ञात्वा मुक्तिः |

The senses are the ones directly connected, through interaction, with the objects of the world.  So, the mention of the senses includes the idea that the senses are of the same category as the objects. Beyond the senses is the mind stuff.  And the intellect is the one that is higher, in status, hierarchy, than the mind.  The intellect is the subtle entity called ‘mahat’  The ‘mahat’ principle, also known as hiraNyagarbha,  is the totality of all the individual intellects in creation and since it is ‘huge/large’ that way, it is called Great Atman.  This principle is the product of the Unmanifest principle.  In other words, the mahat can be said to be the first entity in the manifest world.  Therefore, beyond the mahat is the Unmanifest.

39.            अव्यक्तात्तु परः पुरुषः (probably not yet asked in exam)

अव्यक्तात्तु परः पुरुषो व्यापकोऽलिङ्ग एव च । यं ज्ञात्वा मुच्यते जन्तुरमृतत्वं च गच्छति ॥ ८ ॥

अव्यक्तात् तु परः पुरुषः व्यापकः अलिङ्ग एव च | यं ज्ञात्वा मुच्यते जन्तुः अमृतत्वं च गच्छति ||

अव्यक्तात् तु beyond the unmanifest परः पुरुषः is the Supreme puruSha व्यापकः is all-pervading अलिङ्ग एव च bereft of all indicatory marks यं ज्ञात्वा realizing Whom मुच्यते is released जन्तुः the born entity अमृतत्वं च and immortality गच्छति attains.

Beyond the Unmanifest is the Person, all-pervading and imperceptible. Having realized Him, the embodied self becomes liberated and attains immortality.

Among the shlokas on ब्रह्म प्रत्यगात्मत्त्वेनैव बोद्धव्यम् , this one is आत्मनः सर्वप्रत्यक्त्वं ज्ञात्वा मुक्तिः |

Higher than the Unmanifest is the puruSha, the Supreme Self, called brahman or Atman.  ThispuruSha is all-pervading.  Even though ether is admitted to pervade everything in creation, yet being a product in creation, ether too is limited in that sense.  The puruSha is the Cause of even the ether and everything else in creation and therefore is the absolutely all-pervading principle.  One special feature of this puruSha is that there is no indicatory mark which can be used to locate/identify Him.  For example, the intellect, etc. can be said to be the indicatory marks for inferring that there is a sentient entity.  Such a mark is not present in the case of the Supremebrahman since It is bereft of all such faculties like the intellect.  By saying this, the mantra is stating that brahman is devoid of all sAmsAric attributes.

By realizing this puruSha as not different from oneself, the aspirant is released from the transmigratory bondage.  From what is he released?  It is from the ‘knot’ comprising of avidyA, etc. that binds him.  What is special is that even while alive he becomes freed from these bonds.  Upon the fall of the body on death, the entity called a jIva and jIvanmukta, liberated while alive, is now one with the Immortal Supreme brahman.  It is this Supreme brahman that is devoid of all indicatory marks.  And therefore alone, the vedAntic mokSha is extremely unique in that it gives no scope to ‘know’ it objectively.

40.  Conclusion

अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषोऽन्तरात्मा सदा जनानां हृदये संनिविष्टः । तं स्वाच्छरीरात्प्रवृहेन्मुञ्जादिवेषीकां धैर्येण । तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतं तं विद्याच्छुक्रममृतमिति ॥ १७ ॥

मृत्युप्रोक्तां नचिकेतोऽथ लब्ध्वा विद्यामेतां योगविधिं च कृत्स्नम् । ब्रह्मप्राप्तो विरजोऽभूद्विमृत्यु- रन्योऽप्येवं यो विदध्यात्ममेव ॥ १८ ॥

सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ॥ १९ ॥

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Important questions

  1. Conversation between Yama and Nachiketa in prathamavalli (2010) (2012)
  2. Trinachiketaagni / svargasaadanabhootaamagnividhyaam (2007) (2011)
  3. Svargyaagnividhyaamahatvam (2009)
  4. Nachiketa’s thirst for Adhyaatmagnaana (2014)
  5. Aatmagnaanam (2008)
  6. Aatmasvaroopam – as told by Yama (2007) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2014)
  7. Paramaatmanahsvaroopam (2009) (2013)
  8. Shreyas Vs Preyas (2008)


Important questions

  1. Conversation between Yama and Nachiketa in prathamavalli (2010) (2012)

Yama comes to know that Nachiketa has remained unfed for three days. To atone for the inhospitality Lord Yama offers him three boons. For the first boon Nachiketa chooses to return to his father who would feel happy to receive his son back. For  the second boon, Nachiketa gains the knowledge of the fire sacrifice, leading to immortality. For the third boon he chooses the knowledge concerning the meaning of the great passing beyond. Lord Yama tests Nachiketas by offering instead everything that men usually value – sons, wealth, power, longevity and every other kind of pleasure. However, Naciketas has realized their transient nature and he rejects them all. Therefore, he consistently requests Yama to disclose the secret of what lies beyond death.

  1. Trinachiketaagni / svargasaadanabhootaamagnividhyaam (2007) (2011)

Nachiketa gets to know this sacrificial ritual from Yama as his second boon. This rite serves as the means of attaining the well being in the life hereafter. Yama explains which bricks are to be used, how many bricks are to be used, and the manner in which it should be used. Yama elaborates the efficacy of the Fire-rite. When Nachiketa confirms his understanding by saying it back to Yama, Yama becomes very happy. He gives a multi-coloured jewel and also names the fire-ritual after Nachiketas.

  1. Svargyaagnividhyaamahatvam (2009)
    He who performs thrice, the Nachiketa sacrifice after knowing these three factors on which bricks are to be used, how many bricks are to be used, and the manner in which it should be used, and he who meditates upon Agni casts off the shackles of death before the falling of this body, overcomes sorrow and rejoices in the heavenly world.
  2. Nachiketa’s thirst for Adhyaatmagnaana (2014)
  • येयं प्रेते विचिकित्सा मनुष्ये — अस्तीत्येके नायमस्तीति चैके । एतद्विद्यामनुशिष्टस्त्वयाऽहं वराणामेष वरस्तृतीयः ॥ १.१.२० ॥
  • शतायुष: पुत्रपौत्रान्वृणीष्व बहून्पशून्हस्तिहिरण्यमश्वान् ।  भूमेर्महदायतनं वृणीष्व स्वयं च जीव शरदो यावदिच्छसि ॥२३॥
  • एतत्तुल्यं यदि मन्यसे वरं वृणीष्व वित्तं चिरजीविकां च । महाभूमौ नचिकेतस्त्वमेधि कामानां त्वा कामभाजं करोमि ॥ १.१.२४॥
  • ये ये कामा दुर्लभा मर्त्यलोके — सर्वान् कामाँश्छन्दतः प्रार्थयस्व ।
    इमा रामाः सरथाः सतूर्या — न हीदृशा लम्भनीया मनुष्यैः ।
    आभिर्मत्प्रत्ताभिः परिचारयस्व — नचिकेतो मरणं माऽनुप्राक्षीः ॥ २५ ॥
  • नवित्तेनतर्पणीयोमनुष्यो लप्स्यामहे वित्तमद्राक्ष्म चेत्त्वा । जीविष्यामो यावदीशिष्यसि त्वं वरस्तु मे वरणीयः स एव ॥ २७ ॥
  • अजीर्यताममृतानामुपेत्य जीर्यन्मर्त्यः क्वधःस्थः प्रजानन् । अभिध्यायन् वर्णरतिप्रमोदान् अतिदीर्घेजीवितेकोरमेत॥२८॥
  1. Shreyas Vs Preyas (2008)
  • अन्यच्छ्रेयोऽन्यदुतैव प्रेय-स्ते उभे नानार्थे पुरुषँ सिनीतः । तयोः श्रेय आददानस्य साधुभवति हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते ॥ १.२.१ ॥
  • श्रेयश्च प्रेयश्च मनुष्यमेतः तौ सम्परीत्य विविनक्ति धीरः । श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीतेप्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते ॥ १.२.२ ॥
  1. Aatmagnaanam (2008)
  • अविद्यायामन्तरे वर्तमानाः स्वयं धीराः पण्डितंमन्यमानाः । दन्द्रम्यमाणाः परियन्ति मूढा अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ १.२.५ ॥
  • श्रवणायापि बहुभिर्यो न लभ्यः शृण्वन्तोऽपि बहवो यं न विद्युः । आश्चर्यो वक्ता कुशलोऽस्य लब्धा आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः ॥ १.२.७ ॥
  • तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टंगुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् । अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवंमत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १.२.१२ ॥
  • पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भू-स्तस्मात्पराङ्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
    कश्चिद्धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्ष-दावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥ २.१.१ ॥
  • पराञ्च: कामाननुयन्ति बाला- स्ते मृत्योर्यान्तिविततस्य पाशम् | अथ धीराः अमृतत्वं विदित्वाध्रुवमध्रुवेष्विह न प्रार्थयन्ते || [2.1.2]


  1. Aatmasvaroopam – as told by Yama (2007) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2014)
  • तं दुर्दर्शं गूढमनुप्रविष्टंगुहाहितं गह्वरेष्ठं पुराणम् । अध्यात्मयोगाधिगमेन देवंमत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १.२.१२ ॥
  • न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं कुतश्चिन्न बभूव कश्चित् । अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥
  • अणोरणीयान्महतो महीयान् — आत्मास्यजन्तोर्निहितं गुहायां | तमक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोको — धातुः प्रसादात् महिमानमात्मनः | १.२.२०|


  1. Paramaatmanahsvaroopam (2009) (2013)
    1. The world is compared to an inverted peepal tree, whose unseen root is Brahman. He is mysterious awful living energy from whom the Universe originates and whom its powers must ever obey.
  • अग्निर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो — रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव |
    एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मारूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च  [2.2.9]
  • वायुर्यथैको भुवनं प्रविष्टो रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बभूव ।
    एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा  रूपं रूपं प्रतिरूपो बहिश्च ॥ १० ॥
  • सूर्यो यथा सर्वलोकस्य चक्षु: — न लिप्यते चाक्षुषैर्बाह्यदोषै: |
    एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा — न लिप्यते लोकदुःखेन बाह्य: || [2.11]
  • ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः । तदेव शुक्रं तद्ब्रह्म तदेवामृतमुच्यते ।
    तस्मिँल्लोकाः श्रिताः सर्वे तदु नात्येति कश्चन ।एतद्वै तत् ॥ २.३.१ ॥
  • भयादस्याग्निस्तपति भयात्तपति सूर्यः ।
    भयादिन्द्रश्च वायुश्च मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चमः ॥ 3.३ ॥

1.3.6, 1.3.13, 1.3.1,3.2



In the mahabharat’s anushaashana parva, in the 81th .., Dharmaputra asks Bhishma about the benefits of donating cow. Bhishma explains the Nachiketoopakhyaana which mentioning about the benefit of Go Dhaanaa. He mentions that the benefit of go Dhaanaa is also got by doing Nachiketaagni.

Sending Nachiketas, the conversation is in the form of Question/answer,

Vaajah = annam, तत् दानम् = दाननिमित्तं, शरवस् = कीर्थि: — यस्य असौ वाजश्रवा: | उद्दालक was born in the gotra of Gautama.  He was famous as vaajasravas for his charity of food. He did vishwajit yaaga and gave all his possessions in charity.  His son is Nachiketa, also called as औदालकी. नचिकेता, नचिकेतासौ, नचिकेतस: |

Nachiketa got shraddha in the charity that it has to be done as per the shastras. सर्वस्व दक्षिणा is the injection. During the Yaga …, doing the items being given away in charity, Nachiketa got shraddha in the words of the Shastra “कर्म सार्गुन्यार्थं  पित्रा सर्वस्वं दातव्यम् |” Dhaana is the nucleus of the yaga. The yaga is not complete without charity.

In all daanaas, except in case of marriage, it is said “na mama” | This is not applicable in the marriage when the girl is given away in marriage to another person. Smrithi is not eternal. It undergoes changes over time. In the Vedas, father himself continues to own the girl even after marriage. Even remarriage has been accepted. Smrithi has to abide by the basic principles of Shruti. Vivekananda says that a new smrithi has to be written for the current situation.

He (Nachikata) is insisting on something that the other person (his father) does not like. So he told him that he will be given to Yama.  According to the shastras, the performer of the sacrifice has to give away everything. अहं च पुतु: स्वम् |  So he has to give me up also. So he asks कस्मै मां दास्यसि | Creating a circumstance where Yama ends up giving boons to Nachiketas.

I will show him the scene of your return from the place of Death.

Shruti and Smriti recommend Yagna. Give me the knowledge that will bring immortality.

Yama become very happy and gave to Nachiketa the knowledge of the two types of Nachiketa agni that can be achieved by upaasanaa.

The yagna for achieving the Svarga and other akshaya lokas. It was earlier Svargyaagni. Nachiketa repeated the entire instruction again to Yama, Yama gives the additional tavaiva etad agnim pravakshyanti janaasah |

स त्वं अग्निं स्वर्ग्यं अध्येषि | अग्निस्वरूप: is the formation and the process of this yagna.

आत्मशक्ते: प्रणवस्य च प्रभाव: — अगस्त्यमहर्षिणा बोदित: राम:

रामरावनयोर्युद्धं प्राचलत् अस्ति | रावण: आगच्छति | रामेण किमपि कर्तुं न शक्यते | रावण: वरप्रभावात् बहुशक्त: अस्ति | तत्र बहूणि वराणि रावणेन प्राप्तानि | अथ: किमपि रामेण कर्तुं न शक्यते | एकवारं गच्छति | पुन: द्वितीयवारम् आगच्छति | तदापि किमपि न कर्तुं शक्यते | “तपस्वी अस्ति | वरप्रभावेन बलवानपि अस्ति | एतं  रावणं कथं हन्तुं शक्तोऽहम् ? अहं न शक्त: अस्मि ” इति चिन्ताक्रान्त: अभवत् राम: | स: रावण: अधर्मे एव तिष्टतिचेत् राम: हन्तुं शक्नोति | परन्तु स:  तु तपस्वी अपि अस्ति | राम: तं स्पर्ष्टुं अपि न शक्त: | कथं हनिष्यामि इति चिन्ताक्रान्त: अभवत् | रामरावनयोर्युद्धस्य रामरावणयोर्स्युद्ध: एव समम् | अन्य उपमा नास्ति एव | देवादिदेवा: स्वर्गलोके स्थित्वा पश्यन्त: आसन् | तदानीम् अगस्त्य: चिन्तयति रामस्य किञ्चित् ज्ञानम् अपेक्षितमिति | अगस्त्यमहर्षिः तत्र युद्धभूमौ अवतरति | राम: अगस्त्यं दृष्ट्वा नमस्करोति | अनुग्रहं कर्तुं प्रार्तयति | तदानीम् अगस्त्यमहर्षिणा रामं प्रति एवम् उक्तम् अस्ति – “हे राम | भवान् चिन्तयति – मम समीपे दिव्यास्त्रा: सन्ति | एतेषां दिव्यास्त्राणां शक्त्या रावणं हन्तुं शक्नोमि इति | नैव | तथा मा चिन्तयतु | यदि तत्र दैहिकशक्त्या रावणम् अहं हनिष्यामि इति चिन्त्यते भवता तत् न साद्यम् |  तपसा बहु प्रबल: अस्ति रावण: | अत: किं करणीयम् इति सम्यक् जानातु | आत्मा शक्तिं वर्धनीयम् |  यदा आत्मा प्रबल: भवति, सशक्त: भवति, तदा आत्माशक्ति: भवत: देहे प्रवहति | भवत: अस्त्रेषु अपि प्रवहति | तदा भवान् तं हन्तुं शक्नोति |” अगस्त्यमहर्षि: ब्रह्मोपदेशं कृत्वा आदित्य हृदयं पाठयति |

आत्मशक्ति वर्धनाय एष: कठोपनिषद: श्लोकः सर्वे प्रतिदिनं पठन्तु |

सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति — तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति — तत्ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् ॥ १.२.१५ ॥

सर्वे वेदा: यत् पदम् आमनन्ति, तपाँसि सर्वाणि च यत् वदन्ति,  यत्+इच्छन्त: ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति, तत् ते पदँ संग्रहेण ब्रवीमि ॐ इति एतत् |

एतस्मिन् कठोपनिषद: श्लोके प्रणवस्य प्रभावं उक्तम् अस्ति |

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ब्रह्म एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम् ।

एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं ज्ञात्वा यो यदिच्छति तस्य तत् ॥ १६ ॥

एतत् हि एव अक्षरं ब्रह्म | एतत् हि एव अक्षरं परम् । एतत् हि एव अक्षरं ज्ञात्वा, य: यत् इच्छति, तस्य तत्  |

Quotations from Kathopanishad

  • Ka.Up 1.2.18 and BG 2.20 [Exact]
  • Ka.Up 1.2.19 and BG 2.19 [Exact]
  • Ka.Up 1.2.17 and BG 2.29 [Paraphrased and Adopted.]
  • Ka.Up 1.2.15 and BG 8.13 [Imperishability and significance of Om. Almost word for word]
  • Ka. Up. 1.3.10-11 has the hierarchy: senses < objects < mind < intellect < Mahat < Avyakta < Purusha, with nothing being beyond Purusha. The hierarchy in BG 3.42 is senses < mind < intellect < Purusha, which he feels is crisp.
  • Ka. Up 2.6.1, Asvattha (BG 15.1BG 15.2 and BG 15.3-4)

Some points…

  • Vaajasravas performed Vishvajit yagna desiring religious merit and heaven.
  • Gets three boons for his each night of his
  • Yama dissuades Naciketas from knowing the mystery of death.


  1. अनन्दा नाम ते लोकास्तान् स गच्छति ता ददत् ॥ ३ ॥ २००८.०१, २०१३.०१. 2
  2. सस्यमिव मर्त्यः पच्यते सस्यमिवाजायते पुनः ॥ ६ ॥ २००९.०१, २०१४.०१. 2
  3. अस्तीत्येके नायमस्तीति चैके.. 3
  4. कामानां त्वा कामभाजं करोमि (२०१५.०२.०२) 5
  5. नचिकेतो मरणं माऽनुप्राक्षीः ॥२००८.०२. 5
  6. नवित्तेनतर्पणीयोमनुष्यो २०१०.०१, २०१२.०१, २०१४.०१, २०१४.१३, 6
  7. अतिदीर्घेजीवितेकोरमेत॥२०१२.०२. 7
  8. हीयतेऽर्थाद्य उ प्रेयो वृणीते २०१४.०३. 8
  9. श्रेयो हि धीरोऽभि प्रेयसो वृणीते२०१२., प्रेयो मन्दो योगक्षेमाद्वृणीते २०१३.०३, २०१५.०१. 9
  10. अन्धेनैव नीयमाना यथान्धाः ॥ ५ ॥ २०१०.०२, २००९.०२, २०१४.०२. 10
  11. आश्चर्यो ज्ञाता कुशलानुशिष्टः.. 11
  12. मत्वा धीरो हर्षशोकौ जहाति ॥ १२ ॥ २००८.०३, २०१३.०२, २०१५.०३. 12
  13. सर्वे वेदा यत्पदमामनन्ति… 13
  14. एतद्ध्येवाक्षरं परम्. 14
  15. न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ १८ ॥ २०१०.०३, २०१४.०३, २०१५.०१.०२. 15
  16. अणोरणीयान्महतो महीयान्. 16
  17. महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति (२०१५.०३.०२) see also 2.1.4. 16
  18. तस्यैष आत्मा विवृणुते तनूँ स्वाम् ॥ २३ ॥ २००७.०१, २००९.०३. 17
  19. महान्तं विभुमात्मानं मत्वा धीरो न शोचति (२०१५.०३.०२) See also 1.2.22. 17
  20. नाविरतो दुश्चरितात्. 18
  21. आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तु. 18
  22. उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।२०१४.१२, २०१५.०२. 19
  23. तस्मात्पराङ् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् । २०१०.०४. 20
  24. पराञ्च: कामाननुयन्ति बालाः…. 22
  25. अरण्योर्निहितो जातवेदा गर्भ इव सुभृतो गर्भिणीभिः ।२००७.०२. 23
  26. नेह नानाऽस्ति किंचन ।२००७.०३. 24
  27. एकस्तथा सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा (comes in 3 verses. Refer the verse also). 26
  28. तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम् (not yet asked in exam). 29
  29. तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥ १५ ॥ २००९.०४, २००८.०४, २०१२.०४. 30
  30. ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः ।२००७.०४. 31
  31. मृत्युर्धावति पञ्चमः ॥ ३ ॥२०१४.०१. 32
  32. इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः (probably not yet asked in exam). 32
  33. अव्यक्तात्तु परः पुरुषः (probably not yet asked in exam). 33