108 Names of the Moon: Chandra Ashtottara Shatanamavali #43

Moon - a royal planet
Om sudhamayaya namaha, Salutations to the One who is renders the nectar of the Gods.


glossary
sudhām nectar SB 3.32.19, SB 8.9.12
sudhām such nectar. SB 8.9.21
sudhām the nectar
sudhāṃśu (-śuḥ) The moon; sudhā nectar, and aṃśu a ray of light, the moon being the supposed repository of the beverage of the gods.
sudhā Hin., San. f. ambrosial nectar; the nectar of the gods, amrita – the substance that bestows immortality.


Amrith (or nectar) – that sweet tasting fruit of the flowers can be taken and tasted as an ordinary event. But what of the state of the mind? What happens, what occurs to the mind when the nectar of the Divine is imbibed? What is the proper lifestyle, What steps are necessary, what spiritual effort is needed in order to obtain benefit of taking the nectar of the Gods?

Man must have Faith, Understanding and Self-control. Right conduct (righteousness, right action and behaviour) is the tap root of the great tree, religion. It is the eternal source of its strength. It is fed by waters of devotion; the leaves and flowers are renunciation and other virtues, and the fruit is wisdom. In these stages of growth, if there is any interruption or deficiency, that is to say even if any regulation is missed the fruit of wisdom which the tree yields will be affected adversely. Spiritual progress can be found only in Hinduism and not in any other faith. For Hinduism is the nectar churned and prepared by the ancient rishis out of their own genuine experience. It is not put together from things available in books.

Happiness is of three kinds. One type is of the nature of poison in the beginning but turns into nectar later. This happiness is secured through the awareness of the Atma; it is Sathwic happiness. That is to say, the preliminary spiritual effort of controlling the inner and outer senses etc., which has to be gone through, appears hard and unpleasant; it involves struggle and effort. So the reaction may be bitter. In the Yoga Vasishta, Sage Vasishta says, “O! Rama! The boundless ocean can be drunk dry by man with great ease. The enormous Sumeru mountain can be plucked from the face of the earth with great ease. The flames of a huge conflagration can be swallowed with great ease. But controlling the mind is far more difficult than all these.” Therefore, if one succeeds in overwhelming the mind, one achieves the awareness of the Atma. This success can result only when one undergoes many ordeals and denials. The bliss that one earns afterwards is the highest kind of happiness. As the fruition of all spiritual effort one is established in the perfect equanimity of unruffled consciousness (nirvikalpa Samadhi) and the Bliss that fills him is indescribable. It is ambrosial, equal to the nectar of immortality. Nirvikalpa means the state of consciousness when it is devoid of thought. This state can be reached through appropriate spiritual effort. It is of two natures: Non-dual in full experience and the state of non-duality when dual thought ends. The first takes man beyond the triune of Knower, the Known and Knowledge and he is aware only of the Cosmic Intelligence or Brahma (This is Adwaitha Bhavana). The second stage is reached when all the attributes ascribed to God and man merge in the ONE which embraces the Cosmos and all its contents (This is Adwaitha Sthayi or Adwaitha Avastha).

There is another type of happiness: On account of the impact of external objects on the senses of perception, pleasure mistaken as nectarine is aroused. But, in time, the pleasure turns into bitter and unpleasant poison. This is Rajasic (passionate) happiness. When man welcomes this Rajasic sensory pleasure, his strength, awareness, intelligence and enthusiasm to reach the four goals of human endeavour known as Dharma (right conduct), Artha (wealth), Kama (desires necessary to support life) and Moksha (Liberation), becomes weak, for his interest declines.

The third type of happiness is Thamasic (sloth). It dulls the intellect from the beginning to the end. It finds satisfaction in sleep, slothfulness and faults and derives happiness therefrom. The Thamasic person ignores the path that leads to the awareness of the Soul; he pays no attention to it throughout his life.

Om sudhamayaya namaha, Salutations to the One who is renders the nectar of the Gods.

 

Chandra - the Moon God

 

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