While here in Durban I received an interesting letter from a Mr Natrajan, who wrote:

“Namaskar Kurma Ji !

I am turning 70 in September and I am delighted to read your articles and the quotations of intelligent humans in this world. The Brahmins of South India are considered clever in many respects because they are mostly vegetarians? Am I right.

Om bhur bhuvah svaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

What a beautiful Sanskrit Prayer. Om sound is because of the rotations of the globe and other planets in the universe, yes?”

My reply, in part:

Dear Natrajan,

Regarding Brahmins being clever because they are vegetarians, yes and no. Monkeys are also vegetarians, does this make them noble? No, actually the real clever Brahmins are the Krishna Bhaktas. It is devotional love, bhakti that is the most dear thing to God.

In this connection, and commenting on your appreciation of aum, {omkara, om} actually aum sound is God himself.

In the Rig-veda we find the following information:

“One who chants om, which is the closest form of Brahman, approaches Brahman. This liberates one from the fear of the material world, therefore it is known as tarak brahman.”

“O Vishnu your self-manifest name, om, is the eternal form of cognizance. Even if my knowledge about the glories of reciting this name is incomplete, still, by the practice of reciting this name I will achieve that perfect knowledge.”

“He who has unmanifested potencies and is fully independent, manifests the vibration omkara, which indicates Himself. Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan are the three forms He manifests.”

“Aum takes the form of Gayatri, then Veda and Vedanta sutra; then it takes the shape of Srimad Bhagavatam and the lila, the divine pastimes, of the Lord.”

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, 7.8 and 9.17, “I am Om”, and that one must chant Om thinking of Him in order to attain Him personally (‘mam anusmaran’, 8.13).

Also from Bhagavad-gita:

“From the beginning of creation, the three words om tat sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were used by brahmanas while chanting the hymns of the Vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme.” (Bhagavad-gita 17.23)

And from Srimad Bhagavatam:

“Just as a spider brings forth from its heart its web and emits it through its mouth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself as the reverberating primeval vital air, comprising all sacred Vedic meters and full of transcendental pleasure. Thus the Lord, from the ethereal sky of His heart, creates the great and limitless Vedic sound by the agency of His mind, which conceives of variegated sounds such as the sparsas.

The Vedic sound branches out in thousands of directions, adorned with the different letters expanded from the syllable om: the consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels. The Veda is then elaborated by many verbal varieties, expressed in different meters, each having four more syllables than the previous one. Ultimately the Lord again withdraws His manifestation of Vedic sound within Himself.” (Bhagavata Purana 11.21.38-40)

Hope this finds you well, Kurma.
Posted by Kurma on 28/7/06; 5:00:02 AM

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