Friday, 22 October 2021

Ananda Tandava Of Nataraja - 28

Respond to (lekhana@ayvm.in)

 

Prāṇa and Apāna (continued)

The harmony of prāna and apāna is also recognised as the defining condition of the "primordial vibration," which is manifest as nāda ("sound") and more, specifically, the sound of the mystical Om.

Says Saṅgīta-ratnākara 1.3.6 :

nakāraṁ prāṇa-nāmānaṁ dakāram analaṁ viduḥ |

jātaḥ prāṇāgni-saṁyogāt nāda-namābhidhīyate ||

नकारं प्राण-नामानं दकारम् अनलं विदुः

जातः प्राणाऽग्नि-संयोगात् नाद-नमाऽभिधीयते

The union of prāṇa and apāna, the active listening to the nāda, and the act of following nāda to its subtle end wherein resonance merges into energy (nādānta) culminating in Manonmanī, ("Upthrust Mind)," a high yogic state, are all intimately related to the dance of Naṭarāja.

           As Naṭarāja dances to the melody of the subtle nāda, His mind (manas) glides into the stillness of nādānta. According to the Nādabindūpaniṣad the mind functions only as long as the nāda sounds. Nādabindūpaniṣad 43:

nādo yāvan manas tāvat nādānte tu manonmanī.

नादो यावन् मनस् तावत् नादाऽन्ते तु मनोन्मनी।

The relationship between prāṇa and manas is not unknown in Vedic literature. Śatapathabrāhmaṇa refers to the mind as 'lording over all the vital airs.' Śatapathabrāhmaṇa 14.3.2.3:

mano vai prāṇānām adhipaḥ | manasi hi sarve prāṇāḥ pratiṣṭhitāḥ |.

मनो वै प्राणानाम् अधिपः मनसि हि सर्वे प्राणाः प्रतिष्ठिताः |

This is repeated in the Haṭhayogapradīpikā 4.29:

mano-nāthas tu mārutaḥ.

The Muṇḍakopaniṣad talks of the simultaneous transcendence of prāṇa and manas. Muṇḍakopaniṣad 2.1.2:

aprāṇo hy amanāḥ śubhraḥ.

The drawing of the mind "upwards" physically, and "inwards" experientially, is what is labelled manonmanī: 'It is when there is no stirring in the eyes, nor in breathing, nor in mind, that this state is attained'. Śaṅkara's Yogatārāvalī 17:

netre yayonmeṣa-nimeṣa-śūnye

vāyur yayā varjita-reca-pūraḥ |

manaśca saṅkalpa-vikalpa-śūnyaṁ

manonmanī sā mayi sannidhattām ||

नेत्रे ययोन्मेष-निमेष-शून्ये

वायुर् यया वर्जित-रेच-पूरः ।

मनश्च सङ्कल्प-विकल्प-शून्यं

मनोन्मनी सा मयि सन्निधत्ताम् ॥

Yoga is thus 'an integration of the mind and the prāṇa, as too of the senses', resulting naturally in the relinquishment of all feelings, as stated in Maitrāyaṇyupaniṣad. Says Maitrāyaṇyupaniṣad 6.25:

ekatvaṁ prāṇa-manasor indriyāṇāṁ tathaiva ca |

sarva-bhāva-parityāgo yoga ity abhidhīyate ||

एकत्वं प्राण-मनसोर् इन्द्रियाणां तथैव

सर्व-भाव-परित्यागो योग इत्य् अभिधीयते

We might also note that Pārvati Herself is sometimes referred to as Manonmanī, and Śiva, too appositely as Manonmana : Taittirīyāraṇyaka calls Śiva Manonmana. (Taittirīyāraṇyaka 10.44.1; also Mahānārāyaṇopaniṣad 17.2). No wonder, then, that the dance of Naṭarāja is called Nādānta-naṭana, which may be rendered as "Trans-nāda Dance."


 



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