[Advaita-l] praNava

Bhadraiah Mallampalli vaidix at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 29 12:08:45 CDT 2009

Apologies for delayed response. 

>Would you put 'Om Namah Shivaya' beyond the >bounds of surrender or Advaita ? 

If so, I'm sorry for >you, in my Abrahmanic way.. :)

Namahshivaya or worship of any other deity can very well be misused for Abrahamic purposes 

(as I commented on some recent email chains). 
But Om Namahshivaya (used by dvaita, advaita and all other darshanas) is beyond such misuse 

because the prefix Om makes you sovereign before you continue with the rest of the mantra :-)
Michael: Atman/paramatman.


I agree with you! 


Atman is just sufficient, but when you are talking to another person paramatman is a better word 

which includes both of you and every one else. 


Etymology of praNava and pravaNa: 


Please let me try this:


pra means tending to, attempting to. 


na is certainly borrowed from ana (the internal eater). Ch.U.V.2.1, based on which the words 

praNa, apana, vyana, udana, samana are constructed. ana/na is the nature of experience itself. 


va symbolizes expression as in vAk. 


prana-va means - that which one tends to experience, one speaks out instead. 

Therefore praNava is the expression of that state of conscious experience itself, 

because every bit of that experience is OM.


pravaNa means - that which one tends to express, one experiences instead. 

When you enjoy a ride a pravana (swing or slide), you feel happy and that happiness 

includes a thousand words worth of expression. 


The equality of praNava and pravaNa is probably the first statement of non-difference of 

- theory and practice (There is no way you can think you are just learning all this in theory, 

and don't want to practice yet).  

- jnana and karma. Jnana is expression of knowledge (of how devas do their karmas), 

and karma is the most practical experience of that knowledge. 

- purva and uttara mimamsas


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