FOOTNOTES TO “THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
DAYANANDA SARASWATI SWAMI”
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, Nos. 1, 3, October and December, 1879,
pp. 9-13, 66-68, respectively.]
No Swami or Sannyâsi can touch money, or personally transact any monetary business.
Rudrâdhyâya is a chapter about Rudra (a name of Siva).
The office of “Jamâdâr” answers to that of a town Revenue Collector, combining that of a Magistrate, at the same time.
Parthiwa Puja is the ceremony connected with the worship of a lingam of clay—the emblem of Siva.
[“. . . the great day of gloom and fasting—called Sivarâtri . . .”]. The Vishnavites, or worshippers of Vishnu—the greatest enemies of the Sivaïtes or worshippers of Siva—hold on this day a festival, in derision of their religious opponents.
[“. . . this day following on the 13th of Vadya of Mâgh . . .”]. The eleventh month of the Hindu year.
[Kailâsa]. A mountain peak of the Himâlayas where Siva’s heaven is believed to be situated.
[Nighanta]. A medical work. There is a treatise entitled Nighanta in the Vedas.
[Nirukta]. Another Vedic treatise.
[Purvamimânsa]. First mimânsa.
[nautch]. Singing and dancing by professional women.
[four ghatkas]. About half-an-hour.
[Mukti]. The final bliss of a liberated soul; absorption into Brahma.
Astronomy includes Astrology in India, and it is in Benares that the subtlest of metaphysics and so-called occult sciences are taught.
Mella is a religious gathering, numbering at times hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.
[tumbâ]. A vessel to hold water, made of a dried gourd.
[Sannyâsis]. Sannyâs. There are different conditions and orders prescribed in the Shâstras. (1) Brahmachâri—one who leads simply a life of celibacy, maintaining himself by begging while prosecuting his studies; (2) Grihasthâśrama—one who leads a married but a holy life; (3) Vânaprastha—who lives the life of a hermit; (4) Sannyâs or Chaturthâśrama. This is the highest of the four; in which the members of either of the other three may enter, the necessary conditions for it being the renunciation of all worldly considerations. Following are the four different successive stages of this life: (a) Kutichaka—living in a hut, or in a desolate place and wearing a red-ochre coloured garment, carrying a three-knotted bamboo rod, and wearing the hair in the centre of the crown of the head, having the sacred thread, and devoting oneself to the contemplation of Parabrahma; (b) Bahudaka—one who lives quite apart from his family and the world, maintains himself on alms collected at seven houses, and wears the same kind of reddish garment; (c) Hansa—the same as in the preceding case, except the carrying of only a one-knotted bamboo; (d) Paramahansa—the same as the others; but the ascetic wears the sacred thread, and his hair and beard are quite long. This is the highest of all these orders. A Paramahansa who shows himself worthy is on the very threshold of becoming a Dikshita.
[Dand]. The three and seven-knotted bamboo of Sannyâsis given to them as a sign of power, after their initiation.
[“. . . a man thoroughly versed in Yog . . .”]. A religious “magician,” practically. One who can embrace the past and the future in one present; a man who has reached the most perfect state of clairvoyance, and has a thorough knowledge of what is now known as mesmerism, and the occult properties of nature, which sciences help the student to perform the greatest phenomena; such phenomena must not be confounded with miracles, which are an absurdity.
One may be a Yogi, and yet not a Dikshita, i.e., not have received his final initiation into the mysteries of Yoga Vidya.
[“Spirituous liquors, fish, and all kind of animal food, and Mudra (exhibition of indecent images) . . . were allowed . . .”]. The word Mudra has been variously understood and interpreted. It means the signet of a royal as well as of a religious personage; a ring seal with initials engraved upon it. But it is also understood in another sense—the pristine and esoteric.
Bhûcharî, Chachurî, Khecharî, Charâcharî, and Agocharî — these five were the Mudras practiced by the Aryas to qualify themselves for Yoga. They are the initiative stages to the difficult system of RÂJA-YOGA, and the preliminaries of Dhotipoti, the early discipline of HATHA-YOGA. The Mudra is a quite distinct and independent course of Yoga training, the completion of which helps the candidate to attain Anima, Laghima and Garima. (For the meaning of these Siddhis, see article on Yog-Vidya in the November number of The Theosophist.) The sense of this holy word once perverted, the ignorant Brahmins debased it to imply the pictorial representation of the emblems of their deities, and to signify the marks of those sexual emblems daubed upon their bodies with Gopichand made of the whitish clay of rivers held sacred. The Vaishnavas debase the mark and the word less than the Shaivas; but the Shaktas by applying it to the obscene gestures and
the indecent exposures of their filthy Ritual, have entirely degraded its Aryan meaning.
The following are the five nasals in Sanskrit;
(1) ś (2) ñ; (3) n; (4) n; (5) m
[“I . . . reached Gupta Kâśî (the secret Benares) . . .”]. Gupta Kâśî —Gupta, secret, hidden; Kâsî, the ancient name of Benares—is a holy place enshrouded in mystery. It is about fifty miles from Badrinâth. Outwardly there is seen only a temple with columns; but a firm belief prevails among pilgrims to the effect that this shrine only serves as a landmark to indicate the locality of the sacred hidden Benares—a whole city, in fact, underground. This holy place, they believe, will be revealed at the proper time, to the world. The Mahâtmas alone can now reach it, and some inhabit it. A learned Swâmi friend, and a native of Badrinâth, highly respected at Bombay, has just told us that there is a prophecy that in twenty-five years from this time Benares will begin to decline in every respect as it has long done in holiness, and, owing to the wickedness of men, will finally fall. Then, the mystery of Gupta Kâśî will be disclosed and the truth begin to dawn upon men. Swâmi P—— solemnly avers that, having often visited this very shrine, he has several times observed, with his own eyes, as it were, shadowy forms disappearing at the entrance—as though half visible men, or the wraiths of men were entering.
[Triyugee]. Three Yugis, or the three Epochs.
[“. . . those true ascetics I have heard of but as yet had never met—the Mahâtmas . . .”].
The Mahâtmas, or literally great souls, from the words—Mahâ, great, and âtma, soul—are those mysterious adepts whom the popular fancy views as “magicians,” and of whom every child knows in India, but who are met with so rarely, especially in this age of degeneration. With the
exception of some Swâmis and ascetics of a perfectly holy life, there are few who know positively that they do exist, and are no myths created by superstitious fancy. It will be given, perhaps, to Swâmi Dayânanda, the great and holy man, to disabuse the skeptical minds of his degenerating countrymen; especially of this young decorated generation, the Jeunesse Dorée of India, the LL.B., and M.A. aristocracy—who, fed upon Western materialism, and inspired by the cold negation of the age, despise the traditions, as well as the religion of their forefathers, calling all that was held sacred by the latter, a “rotten superstition.” Alas! they hardly remark themselves that from idolatry they have fallen into fetishism. They have but changed their idols for poorer ones, and remain the same.
[“. . . I then ascended the Tunganâth Peak”].
At Badrinâth (Northern India), on the right bank of the Bishangangâ, where the celebrated temple of Vishnu, with hot mineral springs in it, annually attracts numerous pilgrims, there is a strange tradition among the inhabitants. They believe that holy Mahâtmas (anchorites) have lived [on] the inaccessible mountain peaks, in caves of the greatest beauty for several thousand years. Their residence is approachable only through a cavern perpetually choked with snow, which forbids the approach of the curious and the skeptical. The Badrinâth peaks in this neighbourhood are above 22,000 feet high.
Since the above was written one of our most respected and learned Fellows has informed us that his Guru (Preceptor) told him that while stopping at the temple of Nârâyan, on the Himâlayas, where he had passed some months, he saw therein a copper plate bearing date, with an inscription, said to have been made by Sankarâchârya, that that temple was the extreme limit where one should go in ascending the Himâlayas. The Guru also said that farther up the heights, and beyond apparently insurmountable walls of snow and ice, he several times saw men of a most venerable appearance, such as the Aryan Rishis are represented, wearing hair so long as to hang below their
waist. There is reason to know that he saw correctly, and that the current belief is not without foundation that the place is inhabited by adepts and no one who is not an adept will ever succeed in getting an entrance.