Of late I have been deeply intrigued by jewish scriptures. Jewish traditions of kabalah etc. What I find very striking is, that in its most sacred transcendental form, God in judaism is called "the name", in Hebrew its called "hashem". Infact so scared is this name that, traditionally in Judaism, the name is not even pronounced but read as Adonai, "my Lord" during prayers. Its not meant to be said openly lest it gets defiled.
Since then I have trying to correlate it with Vedic tradition and perhaps the closest we get to is Pranava (ukar akar makar yati).But still, even though divinity is referred to as "the word" it is never mentioned in the nominal sense. So while God/brahman is codified as sound/syllable/word. There is no direct mention of god/divinity being referred to as "Name". Infact even in the later classical sanskrit tradition, we have many shasranaams but God is never called Name, only other flowery adjectives are used. So god's name is important but god is never referred to as "Name".
However little later during bhakti age, we find repeated references of this sort i.e. god being referred to as naam. Kabir Nanak Dadu etc. do it quite often. And in the modern thinkers also we see Name being given a special emphasis by JK/UG etc. Even eckhart etc.
What are your thoughts on this, i.e. "God" being referred to as "Name". Or I am just thinking too wildly ?
I dont know why but the northwest part of Pakistan fascinates me a lot. Not only it is perhaps the "probable" entry point of Aryans(or now a days Aryan languages) in India but it is also a unique and fascinating area for culture-vultures like us. Whether it is the slik route or the kalash people or the Uzbecks/kirgs/Tajiks, the whole region to me is sort of a place where central asian meets greek meets indo-european. Enough now, and lets hear a folk beautiful song in Pashto/urdu. Pashto is the language of Pathans(Pakhtuns/Pashtun). Notice the beautiful folk instruments, IMHO little sound effects and some polish can make it a numero uno chart topper.
A beautiful beautiful video of different forms of vedic recitals(Shakhas literally branches) from all parts of India(TN,KL,UK,UP,RJ,KN,BI). It contains portions of all 4 vedas and some brahmanas (Shatapatha and Gargi IIRC). Samveda portions are really exhilarating. I only wish there was more ghanapatha but then I have some good ghanapatha recordings with me. One thing which struck me was the White Yajurveda in Tamil nadu. Thus far, I had the impression that Shukla yajur is only in north India but anyway it was nice to hear that too. Transported me back to my grandfathers reciting the Shruti. Enjoy.
Kabir on guru(or sad gurus) , Channulal's voice. "quick and dirty" lyrics and translation.
so guru satya kahawein Regard such a guru to be a true one koi nainan alakh lakhawein who makes the eyes see the trasncental (alakh=a-lakshan) dolat dige na bolat phisle, as upadesh dikhwaein whose teaching stays steady, in speech and action jap tap jog kriya te nyara, sahaj samadhi sikhwaein who teaches sahaj samadhi, which is beyond japa tapa and kriya so guru satya kahawein Regard such a guru to be true(one) kaya kasht bhooli nahi dewaein One who doesnt prescribe mortification, or any physical discomfort. nahi sansar chudawain neither asks you to renounce the world yeh man jaaye jahan tahan tahan wherever the mind wanders paramata darsawein he makes you see the param-atma(beyond self/transcendental) karma karien nishkarm rahein , kuch aise yukti batawein One who teaches the art of inaction in action sada vilaas bhog mein jog jagawein in pleasure, enjoyment one who kindles yoga bheetar bahar ek hi dekhein , dooja dristhi na aawein Who grants a non dual perception kahe kabir koi sadguru aisa aawagaman chudawein kabir says, such a sadhguru can deliver one from the cycle of rebirth
It has been said umpteen times by me that if we were to find someone who matched Shankara in terms of intellect, impact and clarity of expression it would be Gyaneshwar( Dnyaneshwar) . Yes Abhinavgupta and Ramanuja were great too and perhaps in lot of ways greater but I think you got what I am got trying to put accross.
We have in the past delved into Gyaneshwar's greatness here and especially his lesser known work i.e. Amritanubhav. I remember reading it verse by verse to Nari, who was totally blown by it!(yaad aaya Nari?)
I hope one day, I delve more deeply into Dnyaneswari and read it cover to cover.
There are also some peculiar similarities which both of them(Shankara and Gyanoba), share i.e. early flowering, early demise, castigation by the orthodox brahmins, great transcendental as well as devotional works and of-course a GREAT fan-club, which survives down to the present day. Here is a small excerpt from Dnyaneshwari.
Was trying to find a composition in vrindavani sarang and found this gem. Surdas bhajan in Brindavani sarang sung by Purshottam Jalota(f/o Anup jalota). Lyrics are in the comment section of this Youtube video. It recounts the oft potrayed episode,Uddhav with Gopikas.
One line struck me "nahi chaiyat yeh jap tap hamko, har dam tum dam sadho" Vipasana by Gopis..right? :D And now compare this with kabir, "ram nam ki khoonti daali, nabh mein dala pantha, chadhte uthte dam ki khabar le, phir nahi aana banta".
Despite all the great and truly praise worthy renditions of Vishnu Shasranaam, I dont know why , I particularly like this rendition of Sahasranaam. I often burst into chanting sahasranaam in metro bus or in get-togethers.....basically wherever I am enjoying my own company. I am not able to fathom why :D
Suddenly two days ago I found it online and Yay here it is now for your listening pleasure. I will very soon also put my preferred version of Lalitha sahasranaam. Btw this one starts directly no nayasa, no bhishma uvaach etc. Three parts and VS starts at 2.50 Part-1 and ends 1.20 Part-3.
The search for immortality is a recurrent theme in Jnaana kaand of Vedas, the Upanishads. Similarly I sometimes that feel 'mortality' and all that ensues from it is the recurrent theme of medieval Indian saint poetry of the Bhakti age (I know this is only approximately true). Perhaps mrityorma amrutam gamaya subtly means that mortality has be to understood in its depth before one enters in the realm of immortality.
Here is a folk song from the state of Chhatisgarh. Its from the movie, Peepli live.
You can find the lyrics and its meaning on the web. Even though lyrics have nothing new still when the poet says "ye dunia maya ke re bande jivanmukti kar le" somehow it sounds much better than the Champion's rant 'satsangatve nisangatvam...nishchaltattve jivan mukti"