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November 13th

Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
असतो मा सद्गमय 
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । 
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय 
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
- बृहदारण्यक उपनिषत्

asato mā sadgamaya
tamaso mā jyotirgamaya ।
mṛtyormā amṛtaṃ gamaya
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ॥
- bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣat

Meaning of the subhAShita:
May I proceed (go) from unreal to the real; from darkness to light; from mortality to immortality; may there be peace, peace, peace.

This verse is a mantra rather than a shloka.  A mantra is something for a person to contemplate upon and realize its true meaning himself.

Here, the student of vedaanta prays that he progresses -
  • from unreal towards the real.  It is believed that 'brahma satya, jagat mithya' - the Lord alone is the truth and everything else, is untruth.  We the mortals are in the quest of being untangled from the tangles of the bluff of this world.  
  • from darkness towards light.  Darkness is equated to ignorance and ego.  Light is what quells darkness, meaning, knowledge and altruism are what defeat ignorance and ego.  'saa vidyaa yaa vimuktaye' - that alone is knowledge which leads to liberation.  
  • from mortality to immortality.  Here, mortality isn't only the being in physical existence, but the very indulgence in the unreal.  From there, into realizing the eternal truth - ahaM brahmaasmi - I am that Supreme self.
When this is attained, there is nothing but peace, peace, peace, everywhere!

Where there is light, there can be no darkness.  Where there is knowledge, there can't be ignorance.  Where there is altruism, there can be no egoism.

May this festival of lights quell all the unreal, untrue things of life and make way to the positive light of eternal bliss!  shubha deepaavaLi to one and all.

pada vigrahaH:
अ-सतः मां सत्-गमय 
a-sataḥ māṃ sat-gamaya

तमसः मां ज्योतिः-गमय ।
tamasaḥ māṃ jyotiḥ-gamaya ।

मृत्योः मां अमृतं गमय 
mṛtyoḥ māṃ amṛtaṃ gamaya

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ॥

Alternate Transliteration:
asato maa sadgamaya
tamaso maa jyotirgamaya ।
mRutyormaa amRutaM gamaya
oum shaantiH shaantiH shaantiH ॥
- bRuhadaaraNyaka upaniShat

a-sataH maaM sat-gamaya
tamasaH maaM jyotiH-gamaya ।
mRutyoH maaM amRutaM gamaya
oum shaantiH shaantiH shaantiH ॥


  1. The word gama or gamaya means to go:I go from darkness to light rather than I am lead from darkness to light.The pleading "Lead me" cannot be justified in any manner whatsoever.
    2. Unlike the Semitic religions which recognize a Divine Power separate from the human soul,Sanatana Dharma sees the individual soul and the Universal Divine spirit as aspects of the same truth...there is no one to lead or to be lead. brahma satyam jagan mithya jivo brahmaiva napara....the spiritual journey is one of casting aside illusions and untruth to uncover one's essential nature.
    3. Let us stop translating the Vedic sacred text from a Paulist view point.

  2. Balakrishnan-ji, Thank you for your input. It is very much appreciated. Yes, I agree, it was a semantic error on my part, not acceptable none-the-less! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. However, there was no intention of misinterpreting the scriptures or have a Paulistic view or anything of the like. It was purely a semantic error and has been corrected now.