A Devoted Disciple

Mishraji, quoting his grand-guru Ojhaji, also corrects the categorization of the six Darshanas or schools of philosophy given by western scholars. These schools evolved as a cross discussion to “satisfy the enquiries which arise in people’s minds”. Instead of the popular translations that the six philosophical systems are Purva-Meemamsa, Uttara- Meemamsa, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya and Yoga the corrected version should be 1. Charvaka; 2. Baudha; 3. Jain; 4. Vaisheshika; 5. Samkhya and 6. Vedanta(and Srimad Bhagwad Gita).

Mishraji outlines at the beginning of each Volume different aspects of the speech used in Sanskrit scholarship. Each Veda has a phonetic treatise attached to it called Pratishakhya that with meticulous care gives the pronunciation, rules for prosody and accentuation of the shabdas or the words of the mantras. To quote – “Words in Sanskrit are living organisms. They grow from a root, like a plant…… As it grows, with the addition of prefixes and suffixes, it acquires new dimensions and numerous facets.” This leads to understanding the spoken words –“Indian seer-scientists have discussed in detail whether the relation between a linguistic term (Shabda) and its meaning (Artha) is permanent or a human invention. They maintain that a linguistic item is not merely the sound but that unit or symbol which, when articulated, brings about the notion of the meaning.” Thus the power of the metaphor is largely used in the Vedas and what seems a story or myth at the primary level is deep philosophy as its etymology unfolds. This often happens after repetitively chanting the mantras and also as the perspicacity of the student alters with experience and age i.e. the awastha. Mishraji writes further – “Mantras do not openly express or explain. They reveal their ‘message’ by means of their indicative meaning and in so doing, guide us to the Truth.” Therefore the Vedas are divided into increasing layers of intricacy. The initial collection of mantras is the Samhita and the last of the philosophical extract is the Vedanta or Upanishads. The root verbs grow into the shabdas and in the words of Mishraji –“If the Mantra or Samhita is the tree, then the Brahmana is the flower, the Aranyaka is the fruit (in its unripe stage), and the Upanishads are the mellow or fully ripened fruits.”