Let’s take a closer look at one of the most popular Sanskrit shlokas (verses) which is also one of the most profound and fundamental.
ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Poornam-adah Poornam-idam
That (there) is complete/infinite, This (here) is complete/infinite
Completeness arises from completeness
If completeness is taken away from completeness
Only completeness remains
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
OM peace, peace, peace
poornam – infinity/completeness; adah – there; idam – here; poornaat – from infinity/completeness; udachyaté – arises; poornasya – from infinity/completeness; aadaaya – remove; eva – only; vashishyaté – remains
The repetitive sounds are strung together in a scientific way to emanate certain rhythmic vibrations whose effect is perceived by the chanter/hearer even if the meaning of the words is not known. Take a listen to the shloka being chanted in the video below.
This ancient shloka from many thousands of years ago describes the cosmic order. The Creation is Infinite/Absolute/ Complete by itself. Every piece of creation, arising from the Whole, from the Absolute, is also complete by itself. There is Completeness here (in us) and there (in the Creator and Creation).
Realising the meaning
Taking away infinity from infinity makes no difference to infinity. Just like taking a pail of water from the ocean makes no difference to the ocean or trapping some air in a jar makes no difference to the air/sky.
A human being is capable of realising his own infinite nature and the infinite nature of the cosmos. Contemplating this shloka helps one understand that. In fact, in deep meditation or samadhi, this shloka comes alive. The realisation that everything, including the piece of life that we are, is complete by itself and is Absolute. There is infinite space that allows everything to be and to happen. What we normally experience as the pain of uncertainty, is the spaciousness of possibilities.
This vast space has no characteristics of its own. It is formless and timeless. It is no-thing. Shi-va. Emptiness. We can call it infinity or zero. Zero times anything is zero. Just like infinity times anything is infinity. Or in other words, zero can bring everything to zero and infinity, to infinity. Silence can bring back everything to silence. [Ever wonder why when you listen to a spiritual master speaking, you become quiet/peaceful? It’s because his/her silence brings your own mind back into silence.]
The realisation of the completeness of life cannot come through the mind because the mind is always incomplete. That is its nature. The realisation can only come by setting the mind aside and looking at what really is here. Already here. Timelessly.
Recommended further reading: Living Being or Psychological Case – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
**Notes:(1) Meaning of Om: The cosmic vibration made up of the three fundamental sounds in creation, “A”, “U” and “M”. These are the only sounds that a human being can make without using the tongue and these are considered to be the basic sounds from which all other sounds are born. The whole creation vibrates with the sound Om.
(2) Although it’s not common practice, French accents for English transliteration of Sanskrit are used here to convey correct pronunciations.
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