[Advaita-l] discussion about panchayatan puja

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 17 03:07:55 CST 2006

--- Abhishek RK <rkabhi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Nevertheless if this is the case, then we have much to gain even from the
> karma-kanda in light of j~nAna also. For example taittiriya brahmanam (kanda
> 1, prasna/prapathaka 2) says "aham tvadasmi madasi tvametat| maimaiva
> yonistava yonirasmi||". (I request the members to kindly translate this).

While I have nothing to add to the importance of karma kAnDa, this is w.r.t the
quote of Sri Abhishek and his request for translation. 

I promptly fell for the bait and courted trouble. Trouble because, the
quotation above (inadvertently I am sure) is slightly mixed up; then, my
initial attempts did not yield satisfaction because contextual information was
lacking; and one line (though not quoted by Sri Abhishek, but part of the
verse) was pretty tough to crack. So the trouble I took was to go to the
original text, and then to the commentator for clarity. Here's the fruit of
that effort - complete verse, commentary and translation of the relvant part.

Actual text (1-2-1-20) (Source: taittirIya brAhmaNa, edited by Sri Subrahmania
Sarma, Chennai; available online at

jIvAtvai puNyAya
aham tvadasmi madasi tvametat
mamAsi yonistava yonirasmi
mamaiva sanvaha havyAnyagne
putrah pitre lokakrijjAtavedah
prANe tvA'mritamAdadhAmi
goptAram guptyai
sugArhapatyo vidahannarAtIh
ushasah SreyasIh SreyasIrdadhat

The second, third, and fourth lines above can be translated as: O Agni! I am
yours, you here are mine; you are my source, I am your source; as you are mine,
carry the havises (? - or whatever be the plural of havis). I could not make
sense of the first line and then was stuck in the fifth line. Also, the
philosophical significance of this interpretation was beyond me.

This is what SayANAchArya says (the first line is a continuation of the earlier
mantra devoted to pooshan - the next four line address the AhavanIya fire, and
the sixth line onwards is addressed to the gArhapatya fire) - source: scanned
images available at www.vedamu.org, page 81 of the scanned copy.

ha (e?) AhavanIyAgne'ham tvatto hetorasmi. yadA tvamAsIstadAnImahasmi. yadA tu
tvam nA''sIstadAnIm vidyamAno'pyaham nishprayojanatvena naasmi. tvam cha madasi
__tto hetorjAyase. etachcha pratyaxam. evamuktaprakAreNa mama yonih kAraNam
tvamasi. tavApi yonih kAraNamahamasmi. tasmAnmameva bandhuh sanmadIyAni havyAni
vaha. he jAtavedo yathA loke putrah pitre lokakritpuNyalokasam.pAdako bhavati
tadvadatisnehena mama lokakrid bhava.


O AhavanIya Fire, I exist due to you. I exist as long you stay. The moment you
are not there (agh! pl bear with my translation), though visible I do not exist
on account of my uselessness. You are mine, becuase you are born due to me.
This much is clear. Thus as explained, you are the cause for my source, and I
am the cause of your source. Therefore, as you are related to me, do carry my
havises. O jAtaveda! just as a son, who earns a place in heaven for his father,
is a lokakrit (creator of [a place in] loka or creator of an abode of living)to
his father, you, on account of great attachment, be the lokakrit to me.

The important points to note in Sri SAyaNa's commentary are:

i) Without agni, the yajamAnin is useless. This is on account of Agni being
critical to yaj~na and other rituals, which are in turn critical to dharma, the
first of the purushArthas. If one can cannot realise the purushArthas, one is
indeed useless. This reasonsing is supported by the plea to Agni to be a
ii) The yajamAnin is the source of Agni only in the sense that this particular
fire is ignited by the yajamAnin. Observe: "etat pratyaxam", and then "__tto
hetorjAyase". SAyaNAchArya is clearly not indicating deeper things like - "I am
Brahman, and hence the cause for this world including you". Such bold
statements seem to belong to the realm of upanishats only, as in ISa (16):
"tatte paSyAmi yo'sAvasau purushah so'hamasmi" 

Even if we were to consider this as an example of adhi-daivata commentary, the
verse does not seem to readily yield to a deeper interpretation.

Anyways, thanks to Abhishekji for making me read some part of a brAhmaNa for
the first time.


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