Pancha-brahmasana-stita   Leave a comment

Sri Matre Namaha

Pancha-brahmasana-stita – The Fifty Eighth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.


pancabramhanam (=pancabhihbrahmabhih nirmitam) asanam tatra sthita

She is sitting about a seat formed by five brahmanas

Hence it is said, “There is the supreme house of Devi, built of cintamani stone, the great bed itself is Siva; the pillow the great Isana. On the beautiful couch, the mat is Sadasiva, the four supports are brahma, Hari, Rudra and Isana and the great Indra is the spittoon. On that bed reclines the greatest Isani, the Supreme Tripurasundari. The proper place of Brahma should be known from the Puranas.

She is seated on a throne made up of five brahmans. The five brahmans are Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishanan and Sadashivan (Some used to say Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Mahadeva and Sadashiva). Shiva, Mahadeva, Sadashiva, Kameshwara are the different forms of Shiva. Each form represents different acts. SL 92 says that “Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishwara form the support of your throne and Sadashiva is the seat of your throne”. This nama highlights Her highest authority of the universe. But, Surely Vak devis could not have meant to name Brahma, Vishnu etc as support of her throne and Sadashiva as her seat. There is another interpretation for this Panchabrhmam. This could possibly mean the basic elements. We have five chakras in our body (muladhara to vishudi) and each of these chakras represent one element. Muladhara – earth element, Swadishtan – water element, manipuraka – fire element (some are of the opinion that swadishtan is fire element and manipuraka is water), anahat – air element and vishudi – akash or ether element. Lalitha is sitting on these five elements, each element forming four legs of her throne and one forming the seat. This seems to appropriate as She is the creator and creation is made out of the five basic elements only. After crossing these chakras, we have to proceed to ajna chakra where our mind is controlled and proceed to the crown chakra where the union of Shiva and shakthi takes place. This explanation suits the interpretations of certain other namas in this Sahasranamam. Namas 249 and 947 also speak about this concept.

“She who sits on the five brahmas viz., Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Esana and Sadashiva”

These five brahmas are synonmous with enlightenment, moksha yoga, samadhi and nirvana.

It is very subtle in its meaning .We have to look at each one of them in their context.

Brahma -Brahma is traditionally depicted with four heads, four faces, and four arms. With each head, He continually recites one of the four vedas. He is often depicted with a white beard (especially in North India), indicating the nearly eternal nature of his existence. Unlike most other Hindu Gods, Brahma holds no weapons. One of His hands holds a scepter in the form of a spoon, which is associated with the pouring of holy ghee or oil onto a sacrificial pyre, signifying Brahma as the lord of sacrifices. Another of His hands holds a jar or coconut shell containing water. The water in this jar signifies the initial, all-encompassing ether in which the first element of creation evolved. Brahma also holds a string of prayer beads, which He uses to keep track of the Universe’s time. He is also shown holding the Vedas and, sometimes, a lotus flower.

So in short we can say:

The Four Hands – Brahmā’s four arms represent the four cardinal directions: east, south, west, and north. The back right hand represents mind, the back left hand represents intellect, the front right hand is ego, and the front left hand is self-confidence.

The Rosary -Symbolizes the substances used in the process of creation. The Book – The book symbolizes knowledge.

The Gold – Gold symbolizes activity; the golden face of Brahmā indicates that He is actively involved in the process of creating the Universe.

The Swan – The swan is the symbol of grace and discernment. Brahmā uses the swan as a vehicle.

The Crown – Lord Brahmā’s crown indicates His supreme authority.

The Lotus – The lotus symbolizes nature and the living essence of all things and beings in the Universe.

The Beard – Brahmā’s black or white beard denotes wisdom and the eternal process of creation.

The Four Faces – The four vedas (Rig, Yajur, Atharva, and Sāma).

So Brahma is personified knowledge, which leads to enlightenment.I need not tell you that enlightenment is what everyone is aiming the first support is enlightenment which is Brahma.

The next one is vishnu -vishnu is moksha because it is through Him that we attain the level of immortality.He is often referred to as the All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of—and beyond—the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.The Katha-upanishad, describes Vishnu in supremacy and clearly defines him as one who gives moksha-It states thus:

“He who has no understanding, who is unmindful and always impure, never reaches that place, but enters into the round of births. But he who has understanding, who is mindful and always pure, reaches indeed that place, from whence he is not born again. But he who has understanding for his charioteer (intellect), and who holds the reins of the mind, he reaches the end of his journey, and that is the highest place of Vishnu.”

So Vishnu is moksha personified.

Next is Shiva is also referred to as Rudra. He symbolises yoga. He is depicted as an ascetic Yogin Depicted as a yogin, he is shown sitting and meditating. His epithet Mahāyogin (“the greatyogi= Mahā = “great”, Yogin = “one who practices yoga”) refers to his association with yoga.While vedic religion was conceived mainly in terms of sacrifice, it was during the epic period that the concepts of tapas,yoga and asceticism became more important, and the depiction of Shiva as an ascetic sitting in philosophical isolation reflects these later concepts. The Hindus often worship shiva in the form of lingam to stress that he is the yogic posture all the time and the shape of the lingam is the yogic posture which helps us to meditate.

Next is Esana which is often called the qualifier,qualifier of enlightenment. This is achieved by the sahasrara chakra in a person leading to samidhi.

Also called Brahma-randhra, it is the meeting place of Kundalini Shakti and Shiva. Immortalityis achieved within Sahasrara Chakra. Before attaining to this chakra the yogi is unableto reach the unconscious conscious state called asama-prajnata-samadhi.

In this state there is no activity of the mind and no knower, no knowledge, nothing to be known:knowledge, knower, and known all become unified and liberated.

When the Kundalini is raised up to Sahasrara chakra, the illusion of individual self is dissolved.The yogi becomes realized, one with the cosmic principles that govern the entire universe within the body.Samadhi is the pure bliss of total inactivity. Up to the sixth chakra the yogi may enter a trance in which activity or form still remains within the consciousness. In Sahasrara Chakra the prana moves upward and reaches the highest point. The mind establishes itself in the pure void of Shunya Mandala, the space between the hemispheres.

At this time all feelings, emotions and desires, which are the activities of the mind, are dissolved into their primary cause. The union is achieved. The yogi is sat-chit-ananda, truth-being-bliss.

So the samadhi is yogi in trans personified.

The last one is sadashiva who is said to be another form of shiva. It is the awakening of the human mind which leads to enlightenment or nirvana.

So when we say that she sits on the five brahmas ,enlightenment ,moksha samadhi and nirvana we are talking about enlightenment to the soul which is the actual site where she resides is very clearly depicted in this sentence.she rules the mind ,heart ,soul and our existence in this world is very clearly narrated.

Soundarya Lahiri also talks about the same:

Gataas the mancathvam Druhina-Hari-Rudr’eshavara-bhrutah

Sivah svacchac-chaya-ghatita-kapata-pracchada-pata;

Tvadhiyanam bhasaam prati-phalana-rag’arunathaya

Sariri srungaro rasa iva dhrisam dhogdhi kuthukam.

Brahma, Vishnu, Rudhra and Easwara,Who are the gods who rule the world,

Become the four legs of your cot,So that they are able to serve you always.

Sadhashiva who is white in colour.

Becomes the bed spread on which you sleep,

And appears red , because he reflects your colour.

And to your eyes which are the personification,

Of the feelings of love,He gives lot of happiness.

Previous Fifty Seventh Name Cintamani-gruhantasta

Next Fifty Nineth Name Mahapadhmatavi-samsta


Posted January 28, 2012 by UdayaBhaaskarBulusu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: