[Advaita-l] Mandukyopanishad for the Sanyasis

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Sat May 28 04:13:28 CDT 2011

Whether it is mANDukya / muNDaka, it's study is not limited to sanyasis only because
vedanta is not a water-tight compartmentalized system.  
The word maNDUka is explained as : bhEkE maNDUka varShabhUH shAlUra plavaH
darduraH".  While we are not concerned with it's other meanings, the word shAlUra is
can be defined as "shalati - utsrujya gacchati".  Which means, that which jumps (leaps) & hops.  The frog (maNDUka) is normally seen to take giant leaps & jumps.  
Similarly, this upanishad takes the mumukshu across the samsAra sAgara with a big leap
to turiya leaving behind the avasthA trayAs. 
Nirukta says:
maNDUkA majjukA majjanAt madatErvA mOdati
karmaNO mandatErvA tripti karmaNO maNDayatEriti
vaiyAkaraNAH maNDa EShAmOka iti maNDO
madErvA mudErvA tEShA mEShA bhavati 
majjana means that which is immersed.  The frog / toad is called majjUka as 
it is always seems to be immersed in water.  majjUka / maNDUka are synonymns.
It is always seen to be in it's own blissful state when immersed in water.  Hence, 
the root of maNDUka is madi / mOdatE.  
It requires a special mention that there is a sukta dedicated to maNDUka in 7th maNDala
of Rg Veda called "maNDUka sUkta".  It is the 103rd sUkta of 7th maNDala having 10 mantras.  The mantra draShTa is Vashishta who sings in ecstasy this sUkta and extolls
the maNDUka as the harbinger of Rain.  When the great yAga called "atirAtra" is performed, this sUkta is sung and if it rains, it should be taken as the symbol that
yAga has been completed successfully and the devatas are pleased.  The 7th mantra of 
this sUkta says:
brAHmaNAsO atirAtrE na sOmE sarO na pUrNamabhitO vadantaH
saMvatsarasya tadaH pariShTa yan maNDUkAH prAvriShINaM babhUva 
The translation goes as:
The yajamanas after performing the sOmayAga & atirAtra in the night are singing thus:
O maNDUka dEvatAs ! Please sing the melodious songs by getting immersed in the water of the ponds / rivers here at this place.  
As soon as this mantra is sung, there should be heavy downpoar with the maNDUka 
sabda.   Such a song of maNDUka is called "akkhala".  The sukta says that
"akkhalIkrityA pitaraM na putrO".  
Due to the unbearable heat in summer, the frog hides itself to save from heat.  But
no sooner it hears the thunder of clouds & lightening in the sky, they come out
with melodious songs.  The rainy season is a joyous moment for maNDUka.  
In Atharva Veda, some of the maNDUkAs are addressed as "khaNvabha" & "khaimakha".
Just see the mantra in atharva veda :
khaNvabhA i khaimakhA i madhyE taduri
varShaM vanudhvaM pitarO marutAM mana icchata 
Here these 2 maNDUkAs are extolled and compared with compassionate father (pitarO)
who are sung & extolled for timely rains, good harvest and control of mind.  The maNDUka 
dhvani is compared with shruti that bestows timely rains / harvest, ample medicinal 
plants for nourishment.  
The maNDUkAs are compared with dEvatAs that bestow immortality as are sung here:
amritasya dhArA bahudhA dOhamAnaM
charaNaM lOkE nO sudhitAM dadhAtu //
Now, coming to the point of discussion, vedanta / upanishad sravaNa, manana, 
nidhidhyAsana is not only for yatis but also for grihasthAs.  
It needs a special mention here that vedanta guru of kanchi mahaperiyaval was
Shri Krishna Sastrigal; vedanta guru of Chandrasekhara Bharati was Shri Virupaksha Sastrigal; vedanta guru of Shri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha was Shri Ramachandra Sastrigal (father of the present administrator VR Gowrishankar - the "illustrious" person in Sringeri); vedanta guru of Shri Bharati Tirtha was Shri Gopalakrishna Sastrigal.  
And all these stallwarts are grihasthAs only.
So, sanyasya shravaNam kuryAt is the emphasis laid on sanyAsa dharma ie., after
taking to sanyasa, they should only do vedanta vichara. 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list