Difference between revisions of "Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
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Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad
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Among the minor Upaniṣads those of the Tāpinī group have an important place.
 +
 +
They mostly deal with the details connected with the upāsanās (meditations) of the particular deity whose name they bear.
 +
 +
The Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad—like the other similar Upaniṣads—is also in two parts: the Purva and the Uttara. The former has a bhāṣya (commentary) ascribed to Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) whereas the latter has one called Dipikā by the sage Vidyāraṇya (A. D. 1296-1386). Upanisad Brahmayogin has also commented on them.
 +
 +
The Purva has been divided into five sections, each being called an ‘Upanisad,’ and having a total of 77 mantras. They are mostly in prose, interspersed occasionally with Rgvedic mantras.
 +
 +
It is assigned to the Atharvaveda and begins with the well-known śāntimantra (peace-chant), ‘bhadrarii karṇebhih’.
 +
 +
Before creation there were only vast causal waters. Prajāpati, the creator, was manifested out of the navel-lotus of the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa. He desired to create this world and did tapas (austerity). He then saw—or realised or obtained—the famous Nārasimhamantra, the king or the crown-jewel of all mantras, in the anuṣṭubh metre. He then created the whole world out of the power of that mantra.
 +
 +
[ Neither the Upanisad nor the commentators give the actual Nārasirhha-mantra in the anustubh metre which is sung as a sāma. The actual mantra as found in some mantra-śāstra works is:
 +
 +
ugrarii vlram mahāvisnurh jvalantarh sarvatomukham I nrsimham bhīsanam bhadram mrtyumrtyum namāmyaham II
 +
 +
(.Prapañcasārasārasañgraha 23)
 +
 +
It means: ‘I bow down to Nṛsimha (the Man-lion incarnation of Visnu) who is terrible, valorous, blazing (like the fire or the sun), all-pervading, awful, death of even the god of death, and yet, the ever-auspicious Mahāvisnu!’
 +
 +
Though there are other mantras of Nṛsirhha in other metres like the gāyatri, it is this mantra in the anustubh metre that is meant in this Upanisad. In this metre there are four pādas or quarters and 32 aksaras or syllables. This factor should be kept in mind while studying the concepts given later, in this work.]
 +
 +
The Upanisad then compares or considers the entire earth, the demigods in the antarikṣa (sky or upper regions), the dyuloka (heavenly regions including the gods like Vasus, Rudras and Ādityas) and Brahman, the pure, as the four pādas or quarters of the Anuṣṭubh (the Nārasirhha-mantra).
 +
 +
This analogy is then extended to the four Vedas also.
 +
 +
Then comes a eulogy of the greatness of the repetition of this mantra by describing the wonderful results one gets.
 +
 +
The identification of various beings and things in this universe—like fire, gods, vital-airs, sun, moon, the trinity and so on—with the four pādas of the mantra is further continued.
 +
 +
The japa (repetition) of this mantra, it is then stated, will result in the vision of that deity.
 +
 +
Thus ends the first section.
 +
 +
The second section describes how the gods in heaven, being afraid of transmi-gratory existence, approached Prajāpati
 +
 +
who taught them this mantra. By that, they conquered sin and death.
 +
 +
The description of meditation on the four parts of Praṇava (a, u, m and half-syllable at the end) as identified with
 +
 +
the four Vedas and some other objects like the gārhapatya fire or gods like Viṣṇu and Rudra comes next.
 +
 +
How to use the mantra for nyāsas (See NYĀSA for details.) along with the syllable Om is described thereafter.
 +
 +
Then follows a detailed exposition of each of the words contained in the mantra, like ugra, vīra, Viṣṇu and so on.
 +
 +
Since man (nṛ) is the best of higher living beings and the lion (simha) the best of the lower kind, he assumed the form of Nṛsimha, to show that he is the very best of creation in all its aspects.
 +
 +
The third section begins with the question of the devas or gods (in heaven) to Prajāpati regarding the śakti (power) and the bīja (seed) of the Nārasimha-mantra. Prajāpati replies that māyā-power of the Lord is the śakti and ākāśa (sky or ether) is the bīja. It is because of the māyā-power that Prajāpati can create and it is from ākāśa (the first product) that everything else proceeds.
 +
 +
The fourth section deals with the aṅgamantras (mantras subsidiary to the main one) which are: Om; the Sāvitrī of Yajurveda (same as the first part of Māhā-nārāyana Upanisad 15.2); the Laksmī-mantra of Yajurveda {Om bhurlaksml and so on).
 +
 +
Then the famous Nrsimhagāyatrī mantra is narrated. It is:
 +
 +
om nrsimhāya vidmahe
 +
 +
vajranakhāya dhīmahi
 +
 +
tannah sirfihah pracodayāt II
 +
 +
The fifth section describes the famous Sudarśanacakra (discus) of Lord
 +
 +
Narasimha (an aspect of Mahāvisnu). It
 +
 +
may have six spokes or eight or twelve or
 +
 +
sixteen or even thirty two with corresponding teeth. The esoteric meditations connected with them are also described.
 +
 +
This is then followed by a fairly long phalaśruti, the statement of the results one gets by repeating the Nārasimha-mantra. As a sample a few such results may be stated:
 +
 +
One who repeats this mantra becomes purified, as if by the five elements. He crosses over all sins and conquers even death. He can prevent the five elements from exercising their power by overpowering them. He can attract to himself other beings like the demigods (yakṣas, nāgas and the grahas or planetary deities) as also the gods. He ultimately attains the highest abode of Lord Viṣṇu.
 +
 +
The Uttaratāpini of the same Upaniṣad has nine khaṇḍas or sections and 84 mantras, all in prose, except for occasional quotations from the Vedas.
 +
 +
This work, almost entirely, teaches Advaita Vedānta. The topics can be summarised very briefly as follows:
 +
 +
Identity of ātman and Brahman; the four states of consciousness, the fourth being the ātman; meditation on the ātman with the help of Om or Praṇava; gods conquering the demons with the help of the Nrsimhamantra; creation of the world by Brahman with the māyā-power and entering into it; the gods deciding to acquire the knowledge (or experience) of the Advayātman, the one Ātman without a second; Prajāpati teaching it to them.
 +
 +
Thus ends this Upaniṣad.
 +
 +
 +
==References==
 +
{{reflist}}
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
 +
== OLD CONTENT ==
 
Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad
 
Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad
 
Among the minor Upaniṣads those of the Tāpinī group have an important place.
 
Among the minor Upaniṣads those of the Tāpinī group have an important place.

Revision as of 09:19, 12 October 2014

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Nrsimha-tapini Upanisad, Nrsimha-tApini Upanisad, Nrsimha-taapini Upanisad


Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad

Among the minor Upaniṣads those of the Tāpinī group have an important place.

They mostly deal with the details connected with the upāsanās (meditations) of the particular deity whose name they bear.

The Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad—like the other similar Upaniṣads—is also in two parts: the Purva and the Uttara. The former has a bhāṣya (commentary) ascribed to Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) whereas the latter has one called Dipikā by the sage Vidyāraṇya (A. D. 1296-1386). Upanisad Brahmayogin has also commented on them.

The Purva has been divided into five sections, each being called an ‘Upanisad,’ and having a total of 77 mantras. They are mostly in prose, interspersed occasionally with Rgvedic mantras.

It is assigned to the Atharvaveda and begins with the well-known śāntimantra (peace-chant), ‘bhadrarii karṇebhih’.

Before creation there were only vast causal waters. Prajāpati, the creator, was manifested out of the navel-lotus of the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa. He desired to create this world and did tapas (austerity). He then saw—or realised or obtained—the famous Nārasimhamantra, the king or the crown-jewel of all mantras, in the anuṣṭubh metre. He then created the whole world out of the power of that mantra.

[ Neither the Upanisad nor the commentators give the actual Nārasirhha-mantra in the anustubh metre which is sung as a sāma. The actual mantra as found in some mantra-śāstra works is:

ugrarii vlram mahāvisnurh jvalantarh sarvatomukham I nrsimham bhīsanam bhadram mrtyumrtyum namāmyaham II

(.Prapañcasārasārasañgraha 23)

It means: ‘I bow down to Nṛsimha (the Man-lion incarnation of Visnu) who is terrible, valorous, blazing (like the fire or the sun), all-pervading, awful, death of even the god of death, and yet, the ever-auspicious Mahāvisnu!’

Though there are other mantras of Nṛsirhha in other metres like the gāyatri, it is this mantra in the anustubh metre that is meant in this Upanisad. In this metre there are four pādas or quarters and 32 aksaras or syllables. This factor should be kept in mind while studying the concepts given later, in this work.]

The Upanisad then compares or considers the entire earth, the demigods in the antarikṣa (sky or upper regions), the dyuloka (heavenly regions including the gods like Vasus, Rudras and Ādityas) and Brahman, the pure, as the four pādas or quarters of the Anuṣṭubh (the Nārasirhha-mantra).

This analogy is then extended to the four Vedas also.

Then comes a eulogy of the greatness of the repetition of this mantra by describing the wonderful results one gets.

The identification of various beings and things in this universe—like fire, gods, vital-airs, sun, moon, the trinity and so on—with the four pādas of the mantra is further continued.

The japa (repetition) of this mantra, it is then stated, will result in the vision of that deity.

Thus ends the first section.

The second section describes how the gods in heaven, being afraid of transmi-gratory existence, approached Prajāpati

who taught them this mantra. By that, they conquered sin and death.

The description of meditation on the four parts of Praṇava (a, u, m and half-syllable at the end) as identified with

the four Vedas and some other objects like the gārhapatya fire or gods like Viṣṇu and Rudra comes next.

How to use the mantra for nyāsas (See NYĀSA for details.) along with the syllable Om is described thereafter.

Then follows a detailed exposition of each of the words contained in the mantra, like ugra, vīra, Viṣṇu and so on.

Since man (nṛ) is the best of higher living beings and the lion (simha) the best of the lower kind, he assumed the form of Nṛsimha, to show that he is the very best of creation in all its aspects.

The third section begins with the question of the devas or gods (in heaven) to Prajāpati regarding the śakti (power) and the bīja (seed) of the Nārasimha-mantra. Prajāpati replies that māyā-power of the Lord is the śakti and ākāśa (sky or ether) is the bīja. It is because of the māyā-power that Prajāpati can create and it is from ākāśa (the first product) that everything else proceeds.

The fourth section deals with the aṅgamantras (mantras subsidiary to the main one) which are: Om; the Sāvitrī of Yajurveda (same as the first part of Māhā-nārāyana Upanisad 15.2); the Laksmī-mantra of Yajurveda {Om bhurlaksml and so on).

Then the famous Nrsimhagāyatrī mantra is narrated. It is:

om nrsimhāya vidmahe

vajranakhāya dhīmahi

tannah sirfihah pracodayāt II

The fifth section describes the famous Sudarśanacakra (discus) of Lord

Narasimha (an aspect of Mahāvisnu). It

may have six spokes or eight or twelve or

sixteen or even thirty two with corresponding teeth. The esoteric meditations connected with them are also described.

This is then followed by a fairly long phalaśruti, the statement of the results one gets by repeating the Nārasimha-mantra. As a sample a few such results may be stated:

One who repeats this mantra becomes purified, as if by the five elements. He crosses over all sins and conquers even death. He can prevent the five elements from exercising their power by overpowering them. He can attract to himself other beings like the demigods (yakṣas, nāgas and the grahas or planetary deities) as also the gods. He ultimately attains the highest abode of Lord Viṣṇu.

The Uttaratāpini of the same Upaniṣad has nine khaṇḍas or sections and 84 mantras, all in prose, except for occasional quotations from the Vedas.

This work, almost entirely, teaches Advaita Vedānta. The topics can be summarised very briefly as follows:

Identity of ātman and Brahman; the four states of consciousness, the fourth being the ātman; meditation on the ātman with the help of Om or Praṇava; gods conquering the demons with the help of the Nrsimhamantra; creation of the world by Brahman with the māyā-power and entering into it; the gods deciding to acquire the knowledge (or experience) of the Advayātman, the one Ātman without a second; Prajāpati teaching it to them.

Thus ends this Upaniṣad.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad Among the minor Upaniṣads those of the Tāpinī group have an important place. They mostly deal with the details con¬nected with the upāsanās (meditations) of the particular deity whose name they bear. The Nrsimha-tāpini Upanisad—like the other similar Upaniṣads—is also in two parts: the Purva and the Uttara. The former has a bhāṣya (commentary) ascribed to Śaṅkara (A. D. 788-820) whereas the latter has one called Dipikā by the sage Vidyāraṇya (A. D. 1296-1386). Upanisad Brahmayogin has also com¬mented on them. The Purva has been divided into five sections, each being called an ‘Upanisad,’ and having a total of 77 mantras. They are mostly in prose, interspersed occasion¬ally with Rgvedic mantras. It is assigned to the Atharvaveda and begins with the well-known śāntimantra (peace-chant), ‘bhadrarii karṇebhih’. Before creation there were only vast causal waters. Prajāpati, the creator, was manifested out of the navel-lotus of the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa. He desired to create this world and did tapas (austerity). He then saw—or realised or obtained—the famous Nārasimhamantra, the king or the crown-jewel of all mantras, in the anuṣṭubh metre. He then created the whole world out of the power of that mantra. [ Neither the Upanisad nor the commen¬tators give the actual Nārasirhha-mantra in the anustubh metre which is sung as a sāma. The actual mantra as found in some mantra- śāstra works is: ugram vīram mahāvisnurh jvalantarh sarvatomukham I nrsimham bhīsanam bhadram mrtyumrtyum namāmyaham II {Prapañcasārasārasañgraha 23) It means: ‘I bow down to Nṛsirhha (the Man-lion incarnation of Viṣṇu) who is terrible, valorous, blazing (like the fire or the sun), all-pervading, awful, death of even the god of death, and yet, the ever-auspicious Mahāvisnu!’ Though there are other mantras of Nṛsirhha in other metres like the gāyatri, it is this mantra in the anustubh metre that is meant in this Upanisad. In this metre there are four pādas or quarters and 32 akṣaras or syllables. This factor should be kept in mind while studying the concepts given later, in this work.] The Upanisad then compares or considers the entire earth, the demigods in the antarikṣa (sky or upper regions), the dyuloka (heavenly regions including the gods like Vasus, Rudras and Ādityas) and Brahman, the pure, as the four pādas or quarters of the Anuṣṭubh (the Nārasirhha-mantra). This analogy is then extended to the four Vedas also. Then comes a eulogy of the greatness of the repetition of this mantra by describing the wonderful results one gets. The identification of various beings and things in this universe—like fire, gods, vital-airs, sun, moon, the trinity and so on—with the four pādas of the mantra is further continued. The japa (repetition) of this mantra, it is then stated, will result in the vision of that deity. Thus ends the first section. The second section describes how the gods in heaven, being afraid of transmi- gratory existence, approached Prajāpati who taught them this mantra. By that, they conquered sin and death. The description of meditation on the four parts of Praṇava (a, u, m and half-syllable at the end) as identified with the four Vedas and some other objects like the gārhapatya fire or gods like Viṣṇu and Rudra comes next. How to use the mantra for nyāsas (See NYĀSA for details.) along with the syllable Om is described thereafter. Then follows a detailed exposition of each of the words contained in the mantra, like ugra, vīra, Viṣṇu and so on. Since man (nṛ) is the best of higher living beings and the lion (siriiha) the best of the lower kind, he assumed the form of Nṛsimha, to show that he is the very best of creation in all its aspects. The third section begins with the question of the devas or gods (in heaven) to Prajāpati regarding the śakti (power) and the bīja (seed) of the Nārasirhha- mantra. Prajāpati replies that māyā-power of the Lord is the śakti and ākāśa (sky or ether) is the bīja. It is because of the māyā-power that Prajāpati can create and it is from ākāśa (the first product) that everything else proceeds. The fourth section deals with the aṅgamantras (mantras subsidiary to the main one) which are: Om; the Sāvitrī of Yajurveda (same as the first part of Māhā- nārāyana Upanisad 15.2); the Lakṣmī- mantra of Yajurveda (Om bhurlaksmī and so on). Then the famous Nrsimhagāyatrī mantra is narrated. It is: om nrsimhāya vidmahe vajranakhāya dhīmahi tannah siiiihah pracodayāt II The fifth section describes the famous Sudarśanacakra (discus) of Lord Narasimha (an aspect of Mahāviṣṇu). It may have six spokes or eight or twelve or sixteen or even thirty two with correspond¬ing teeth. The esoteric meditations con¬nected with them are also described. This is then followed by a fairly long phalaśruti, the statement of the results one gets by repeating the Nārasirhha- mantra. As a sample a few such results may be stated: One who repeats this mantra becomes purified, as if by the five elements. He crosses over all sins and conquers even death. He can prevent the five elements from exercising their power by over¬powering them. He can attract to himself other beings like the demigods (yakṣas, nāgas and the grahas or planetary deities) as also the gods. He ultimately attains the highest abode of Lord Viṣṇu. The Uttaratāpini of the same Upanisad has nine khaṇḍas or sections and 84 mantras, all in prose, except for occasional quotations from the Vedas. This work, almost entirely, teaches Advaita Vedānta. The topics can be sum¬marised very briefly as follows: Identity of ātman and Brahman; the four states of consciousness, the fourth being the ātman; meditation on the ātman with the help of Om or Praṇava; gods conquering the demons with the help of the Nrsimhamantra; creation of the world by Brahman with the māyā-power and entering into it; the gods deciding to acquire the knowledge (or experience) of the Advayātman, the one Ātman without a second; Prajāpati teaching it to them. Thus ends this Upaniṣad.