By Yogi Baba Prem, Yogacharya, Veda Visharada
Bhagavan is a Sanskrit word that frequently is interpreted and as a reference for “lord”. Bhagavan is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Bhaj’, meaning to distribute, share, grant and bestow. Interestingly, words such as Bhakti (devotion or devotional worship) are derived from the same root. There are additional usages, as the term bhagavan can be used to describe, or as a reference to anyone that is considered very evolved. The term can also be used for a variety of Vedic deities. It is commonly used as a reference to Vishnu and more recently to Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu. In Vedic times, Vishnu was viewed as one of the sun gods called Adityas. These were sons of Aditi. Aditi is the undivided consciousness of the universe. The Adityas (Sun gods) spring forth from this consciousness.
The number of sun gods varied throughout time, but when the number 12 is used, it is frequently a reference to the astrological zodiac. The Zodiac and the Adityas represent forces to work on modification of our karma. In Vedic astrology, this is commonly referred to as remedial measures. These measures frequently involve various stones being worn, mantras, yajnas, and other techniques to address our karma. Within each sign of the zodiac, stars are assigned which are commonly referred to as the lunar mansions, or it could be said that the stars occupy various lunar mansions. The lunar mansions fine-tune the energies manifestation, allowing for the karma to be more clearly understood. But in looking at the moon, for example, one quickly realizes that the light of the moon comes from the sun. Therefore from a remedial standpoint, techniques to the solar deity’s can, at times, modify the energy energizing the karma allowing for a modification of the karma. It should be noted that in Vedic astrology additional deities are assigned to the nakshatras (stars) as well.
From a spiritual standpoint, the sun gods provide tools and techniques to allow a practitioner to experience Aditi (undivided consciousness). To be successful in approaching undivided consciousness, one must first understand divided consciousness. And to understand divided consciousness, one must understand bound consciousness. In the Vedas, the bound consciousness is referred to Diti. Diti literally means cutting, splitting and dividing. It could be said that Diti is the mother of the ego. While she is the mother of the ego, it would be more correct to say she is the creative energy of the ego, or on the lowest level the feminine side of the ego. In fact, the Vedas is filled with explanations of battles between the higher consciousness (Indra) and the lower manifestation (Vrtra and Diti). Diti is a complex subject, but for our current purposes, Diti would represent our lower emotions.
As with all abstract teachings in the Vedas, there is a physical counterpart. Aditi is associated with the medulla oblongata or brain stem as well as the frontal lobe, and Diti would be associated with the limbic brain. Ironically, the brain has several important mechanisms to try and control Diti. Glands to suppress violent reactions arising from the limbic brain and a larger frontal lobe. It is through the development of the frontal lobe that humanity embraces the Adityas and ultimately Aditi and defeats Diti. One secret way to move past Diti and toward Aditi is through understanding of Bhagavan.
Using Bhagavan as a mantra is a powerful tool to unlock and cultivate spiritual evolution within. The Bhagavan mantra is believed to represent prosperity, strength, happiness and exclusion of negativity.
Breaking the word down to its primal roots reveals additional information about the Bhagavan mantra. Additionally, the mantra is said to provide protection, non-attachment, knowledge and more. The word Bhagavan carries a variety of energies within its sound structure. Within the Puranas, Bhagavan is broken down into Bha, Ga, Va, Na. Bha is taught to be a reference to Bharata (India) which means protector. Bha is also a name of Venus (shukra), and Bha is linked with the 27th star of the Zodiac. Ga means creator or mover, in later times it became a reference to Ganesha the remover of obstacles). Va carries the energy of air and wind and is closely linked with Varuna. Varuna is an Aditya (Sun-god) and strongly connected with karma, water and the sea. Na means unbroken, praised, undivided.
Even without a deep understanding of mantra, once can see that the Bhagavan mantra is connected with many energies and can be beneficial from an astrological standpoint as well, aiding in spiritual growth. It can have a powerful effect on the ego, and can aid as part of a holistic approach toward transformation and balancing of the ego. The Bhagavan mantra is simple and easy for most people to practice but should be learned from a skilled teacher, familiar with Sanskrit.
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