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Hamsa Mantra

What is Hamsa?Hamsa is a BirdHamsa is a goose or swan-like bird widely talked in Hindu Mythology of Sanskrit and Tamil. In Tamil mythology, it is called Anna Paravai. Probably it might have derived its root from the Sanskrit word Arayanna, the other name of heavenly Hamsa. It was the bird that had the unique ability to drink milk leaving the water from the mixture of water and milk. The word was used even in Rig Veda (1-65-5; 1-163-10;2-34-5;3-8-9), the earliest of the scriptures.

Hamsa bird is the Vahana (a creature that serves as a vehicle to a deity)  of Lord Brahma, Lordess Saraswati, Lordess Gayatri, and Visvakarma the creator of the universe.

Hamsa is Atman
But in Hindu philosophy, Hamsa indicates Atman or Purusa, the Self or the embodied soul. Paramahamsa is Paramatman or the Universal Self. Brihadaranya Upanishad 4.3.11 says 'hiraṇmayaḥ puruṣa ekahaṃsaḥ' meaning the radiant Purusa is only Hamsa. Hamsa or swan is a migrating bird. Maybe, for this reason, the embodied soul …

Om

Pranava, Omkara, and Ekakshara are the other names of Om. Pranava means that transcends Prana. Prana is the life force. It is Atman that transcends Prana. Pranava denotes Atman. Omkara literally means Om-ness. The suffix 'kara' is commonly added to letters when they are separately spoken of. For example, when the letter 'A' is separately spoken of, it is termed as 'Akara'. Similarly, Om is termed as Omkara. Ekakshara means 'mono-syllable'. Normally, vowels are skipped in the counting. Om contains Makara only. Hence it is called Ekakshara.

It is a combination of three syllables: Akara, Ukara, and Makara or simply AUM.

It is the sacred sound for Hindus. Om has its place not only in Hinduism but also in other major religions. For example, 'Amen' in Christianity, and 'Amin' in Islam. It is the sacred word also in Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. 

It is not only a sacred sound or word but a sacred symbol too. It is also used as a mantra or the sa…

Mahavakyas

What are Mahavakyas?The Sanskrit term 'Mahavakya' means a great sentence or aphorism. Vedas are the oldest religious scriptures of Sanatana Dharma. Upanishads are the concluding part of the Vedas. While Upanishads are called the very essence of Vedas, these aphorisms are called the very essence of Upanishads or Vedanta. Indian Philosophy is mostly based on Vedanta. Different interpretations of Vedanta lead to different kinds of philosophies. Hence these aphorisms too are interpreted in different ways.
According to Advaita Vedanta, Brahman only is the truth and the empirical world is illusory. There is no other supremity than the oneness of Brahman and Jiva. The true identity of Jiva or Self is Brahman only. This identity is reiterated in Vedantic scriptures and expressed in these Vakyas. Hence these Vakyas are identity statements. They are the equations of Paramatma and Jivatma.
Bondage (Samsara) is the reason for the miseries of the world. Ajnana (Ignorance) is the cause of Sam…

Ayam Atma Brahma

Ayam Atma Brahma is the Mahavakya that found in Mandukya Upanishad of Atharva Veda. As other Mahavakyas, it also explains the Jiva-Brahmaikya or the oneness of Brahman and Atman which is the basic tenet of Advaita Philosophy. According to Guru Gita, Ayam Atma Brahma is Abhyasa Vakya or the statement of Practice. MeaningAyam means 'this'. 'Atma refers to 'Atman' or Self'. Brahma is Brahman, the Supreme Entity. Hence this Mahavakya means 'Atman is Brahman'. What is Atman? Tattva Bodha defines Atman as 'that which is other than the gross body, subtle body, and causal body, which is beyond the five sheaths of the body (Annamaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vijnanamaya Kosha, and Anandamaya Kosha), which is the witness of three states of Consciousness (Jagrat, Svapna, and Susupti) and which is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss'. This Atman is Brahman. What is Brahman? Brahman is the Supreme Entity which alone is real. 

Chapter t…

Prajnanam Brahma

Prajnanam Brahma is one of the Mahavakyas of Vedanta. This Mahavakya is found in Aitareya Upanishad of Rig Veda. Aitareya Upanishad deals with the philosophy of Vedic Religion that includes Atman, Brahman, creation, the cycle of birth, the importance of food, and the path of liberation. It gives the answers to the questions like Who is he whom we meditate upon as Atman? and Which is Atman? It states that everything is the various names of consciousness and everything is generated by consciousness. The world is led by consciousness. Consciousness is the cause. Consciousness is Brahman. It is to be noted that the term consciousness is used as the essence and not as the property.
MeaningThe Sanskrit word Prajna means consciousness. The consciousness is Brahman. This is the meaning of this Mahavakya. According to Guru Gita, it is Upadesa Vakya, the statement of instruction or guidance. Some call this Mahavakya as Lakshana Vakya, the statement that depicts the nature of Brahman. Etymologica…